Plain Truth Ministries

PTM proclaims authentic Christianity without the religion.
Our work is Christ-centered, based on God's amazing grace,
giving hope to those burned out by legalistic religion.

Online Teaching Ministry


Describe the photo or the page it links to

Christianity Without the Religion Audio. Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Christ Alone. A new sermon every week. Join us now.

New from CWRpress


Latest book from CWRpress

The Remnant: A new novel by award-winning author Monte Wolverton is now available from CWRpress.

PTM Monthly Letter


Partner Letter

PTM Partner LetterBe uplifted and spiritually nourished by this month's inspirational Partner letter.

CWR Blog


CWR Blog

Christianity Without The Religion BLOG by PTM's Senior editor Brad Jersak. Fresh Christ-centered commentary every week.

Daily Radio


PT Radio

Listen to Plain Truth Ministries' daily radio program Plain Truth Radio. Hosted by Greg Albrecht served fresh daily.

Donate


Donate

Help us in our combined, collective efforts to reflect the Light of Jesus to an increasingly dark and troubled world.

Comments


Comments from those we serve

Selected comments from those who have been helped by the ministry of PTM/CWR.

A More Christlike God


PTM's Latest Book

"...Brad Jersak creates a beautiful space for Jesus to challenge our views of God. A breath of clean and clarifying air."—William Paul Young, Author of The Shack

Read Our Magazines


Our Magazines

Read articles from the latest edition of our award-winning magazines. Sign up for a free online subscription.

 
Latest CWR Magazine

WhatsNew

Check out the articles in the latest edition of CWR Magazine.

"Dare to Hope" by Brad Jersak: The love of God allows, motivates and even obligates us to hope that in the end, the Light of Christ will overcome all darkness and then, perchance, "every heart will prepare him room."

Current CWR Magazine

CurrentIssue

See more articles in the latest edition of CWR Magazine.

"7 Myths About Christian Universalism" by Robin Parry: ...this debate is not between Bible-believing Christians (traditionalists) and Bible-denying "liberals'" (universalists). It is largely a debate between two sets of Bible-believing Christians on how best to understand Scripture.

Current CWR Magazine

RecentIssue

See more articles in the latest edition of CWR Magazine.

"Why We Love The Walking Dead" by Kevin Miller: Why Zombies?... it's clear that zombies are the perfect manifestation of our greatest fears in the face of rampant urbanization and the globalized economy that is seeking to homogenize and commodify the planet—runaway consumption and the loss of individual identity.

Front Page Article

Bitterness and Resentment

by Greg Albrecht

Remember the older brother, the third major character of the parable of the prodigal son? As he witnessed the extravagant love and forgiveness of his father, lavished on his younger brother when he came home from wasting his inheritance, the older brother was eaten alive by jealously, envy and bitterness. The older, unforgiving brother refused to join in the festivities and celebration.

The older, responsible, hard-working brother felt that he was a faithful and diligent son, always trying to earn his father's favor.

But the celebration and festivities—the barbecue, the music and the dancing—were not in honor of all his hard work.

The joy and celebration were because his obviously less-than-perfect younger brother had come home. The parable ends without us being told the end of the story—did the older brother let go of his bitterness?

Buddy Hackett, an American comedian and actor who died a little over ten years ago once said, half in fun and half seriously, "Don't carry a grudge. While you're carrying the grudge the other guy is out dancing."

That, of course, is exactly what the younger brother and his father were doing—they were dancing. They were filled with joy—which is the state of mind that Christ produces in us. By contrast, the older brother, for all of his hard work and virtue and all his righteousness was eaten alive by bitterness and resentment.

I always remember the wisdom of an old Arab proverb: "Write the wrongs that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble. Let go of all emotions such as resentment and retaliation, which diminish you, and hold onto emotions such as gratitude and joy, which increase you."

In her book, Tramp for the Lord, Corrie Ten Boom says that God takes our sins and buries them in the deepest ocean, and then he posts a sign that says, "No fishing allowed." Unresolved bitterness, whether toward another human being, dead or alive, or toward ourselves, can cause us to live in torment. Bitterness is a prison where our spirit, our soul, is in bondage— being slowly devoured like a cancer. It is a dark and desperate place of depression and anxiety. In such a place we are overcome by guilt and shame.

Each of us must make a decision. Will we accept or reject the forgiveness God offers to us? Will we trust him implicitly—will we accept the fact that Jesus has taken care of all of the ugliness and evil of our lives and forgiven it with the love he demonstrated on his Cross—or will we continue to insist that we must somehow muddle through our own lives, trying to make restitution in our own way?

Accepting God's forgiveness means that we will not wait for an apology to come from the person whom we believe has wronged us. It could be that the individual who offended or wronged us didn't mean to harm us in any way—they may not even remember the incident! In such a case we will wait in vain for them to ask us to forgive them. We can also wait forever for an apology from someone who truly did abuse us—who caused us perhaps physical as well as emotional pain and grief—but many such individuals will never ask us to forgive them.

If we continue to harbor grudges and resentment toward such people then they are still controlling us—they are still governing the way we live our lives. We are still in bondage to real or imagined harms done to us in the past— when all the while our bitterness and resentment can be taken away in Christ.

In some cases we hold ourselves hostage. We can fail to fully embrace the totality of the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, and in so doing we determine that God is not strong enough or big enough to forgive us. It's the ultimate end of performance-based religion—we simply cannot believe that God has enough love and grace to forgive us, so we reject his offer of freedom and instead continue our life of imprisonment in the shame and guilt of our past.

Forgiveness is a gift of God—a gift that we either choose to accept or reject. If we choose to accept God's forgiveness, then we choose to believe and trust that Christ in us will enable us to treat ourselves and treat others with the same love he has lavished on us. We can overcome bitterness and resentment because of Christ, in Christ and through the new life he lives in us.


Share this article with a friend. Push the Share this article button at the top of this page.


Send Us Your Comments

Go to CWR/PTM Front Page Archive

 
Welcome
Welcome
image3 image2 image1 image4 image5 image6 image7

CWR Videos

Watch our fascinating, insightful and helpful videos.

Our Magazines

Read articles from the latest edition of our award-winning magazines. Sign up for a free online subscription.

Christianity Without the Religion Audio—Teaching Ministry

A new way to worship – without entering into a specific building, services are on the Internet, it's worship without walls.

CWR Blog

Senior Editor Brad Jersak provides a wide diversity of Christ-centered thought in our CWR blog – there's something here for everyone!

Daily Radio

Daily Radio from Plain Truth Ministries. Listen to today's program.

Comments from those we serve

Selected comments from those who have been helped by the ministry of PTM/CWR.

New from CWR Press!

What is God like? A punishing judge? A doting grandfather? A deadbeat dad? A vengeful warrior? How do such 'good cop/bad cop' distortions of the divine arise and come to dominate churches and cultures? Whether our notions of 'god' are personal projections or inherited traditions, author and theologian Brad Jersak proposes a radical reassessment, arguing for "A More Christlike God: a More Beautiful Gospel."

Welcome
themed object
Christianity Without the Religion
Bookmark and Share
Get App get in touch
back to top

Please remember CWR/PTM is a non-profit ministry not supported by any organization, church, or denomination.
We rely solely on the generous gifts of people like you...won't you help us help others