Remember when you were newly married? You loved doing whatever you could for your spouse. You found yourself humming while emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, even scrubbing toilets.
Remember when you first started a new job? How you smiled as you pitched in because you were thrilled to be part of the team?
Now that time has passed, are you still humming? Still smiling? Or are you spending more time muttering and scowling? For most of us, when people don’t sufficiently show their appreciation, we begin to feel used and taken advantage of.
Would you feel resentful if I told you 1 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) says, “[Love is not] resentful”?
It’s hard to maintain a good attitude when we don’t feel appreciated. We’re not asking for billboards to be erected in our honor, but a simple “Thank you” now and then would be nice.
If we’re not careful, though, the more we dwell on feeling overlooked, the more we resent the very people we previously found joy with.
Resentment brings out the worst in us, causing us to think and behave in ways we’d never admit. We might sabotage a coworker’s promotion by slandering his or her reputation. Or shame a family member by bringing up an unkind action from the past just to torment him or her. We know they don’t deserve our mean-spirited actions, but we’re so miserable that we want them to suffer, too – especially if they’re receiving the praises and “Atta boys” we crave.
What would happen if we completely shifted our mindset and refused to allow ourselves to feel like a martyr? What if our highest desire was to honor God in all we do? And what if we gave those we feel slighted by the benefit of the doubt, at home and at work? They’re likely aware of how much we contribute and would miss us dearly if we were to leave. But as we do at times, they allow their distractingly busy schedules to keep them from taking the time to express their gratitude.
As we allow God to change our motives, and as we grow in our ability to love others, we’ll be quicker to overlook offenses, even when we feel slighted. And miracle upon miracles, we might even find ourselves spending less time muttering and scowling and more time humming and smiling.
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. You can reach her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.