There’s an Eastern European folklore story that goes something like this:
The Three Farmers
Three farmers were walking together down a country lane when they spotted an oil lamp. One farmer picked it up and rubbed the mud off of it. Suddenly, a genie popped out! The weathered, old farmers showed no surprise but demanded that they receive three wishes.
The genie said, “Since there are three of you, you will each receive one wish.” The first farmer said, “I have three sheep. Give me three more!” The genie said, “Done.” The second farmer said, “I have two ewes (female sheep). Give me a ram (male sheep)!” The genie said, “Done!” The third farmer said, “I have one sheep so kill all but one of the sheep these other farmers have!”
The grip of resentment
This story reveals the heart of resentment. Do we entertain bitterness? What walls have we built to hide the bitterness we hold from the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13)? Have we tucked it away but not turned it over to our Lord? Do we hide this thing that harms us? Have we allowed resentments to colonize their poisonous thoughts in us?
When we receive Christ Jesus as our Savior, we are reborn, but our flesh is still with us. We should not be surprised when we unexpectedly become aware of earthly thoughts, feelings, or memories that need to be surrendered to Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit searches our hearts and compels us to deal with our wrongs and surrender our sins to God.
Revealing and repenting our sins to Jesus is a life-long process. That is why God’s Word states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) And in Colossians 3:5, we find, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
As children of God Almighty, He calls us to better thoughts and actions than this world’s ways. Let’s embrace justice, mercy, truth, grace, forgiveness, and such things that please our Father. Then we can find our rest in Psalms 16:7, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” We have a new life in Christ Jesus, so let’s live it to the full!
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