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Recovery Attitudes

The biblical story of Cain and Able is more than a bible story about the first recorded murder. It clearly describes what happens when we hold on to anger and resentment.
But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Genesis 4:4-8 (New International Version)

Resentment is the discontent and anger we feel towards other people and situations as we hold on to our memories of past hurts and disappointments. Instead of forgiving, releasing and moving on; we carry grudges and replay our perceptions of unfair events over and again in our mind. As we do this, we create barriers between us, God and others. Instead of trusting that God will make all things right, we internalize our anger and frustration until it erupts into a boiling rage. As with Cain, so with us; sin is crouching at the door. In this lesson we will look at the futility of resentment and look for ways of ridding ourselves of painful grudges that we’ve been carrying.

SUBMISSION STEPS Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life and humbly ask him to remove my character defects.(CELEBRATE RECOVERY: STEP 5) Matthew 5:6 “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.” We admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (STEP 5 OF THE 12 STEPS) James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. (STEP 6 OF THE 12 STEPS) James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. (STEP 7 OF THE 12 STEPS) 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” STEP REFLECTION STEP 6 says that “We are ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” Perhaps one of the biggest defects of character for many of us is resentment. Resentment is defined as “a feeling of anger and of deep and bitter ill will.” 1. Review your list of resentments from STEP 4. How are you doing with this list? Have you been able to make any positive changes in this area lately? Why or why not? 2. Make a list of five things you think your resentment towards other people, places or things have brought you. 3. Why do you think we hold on to our resentments?

SCRIPTURE STUDY JOB 5:2 (NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION) Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.

2 TIMOTHY 2:24 (NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION) And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. ________________________________________ SCRIPTURE REFLECTIONS As you think about your present life situation, 1. What do you believe is the meaning of Job 5:2 and provide a personal example from your own life. 2. How would your life be better if you didn’t have your resentments? 3. For those who desire to be “the Lord’s servants,” how does setting aside the things mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:24 make us a better servant? RECOVERY WISDOM Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ________________________________________ WHAT DOES THIS SAYING MEAN TO YOU? GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW IT WORKS IN YOUR LIFE.