by Elizabeth Carrouth
A long time ago, several friends shared a story with me that I’ve read many times over throughout the years. In the story, a clergyman had offered a tangible solution to someone who had experienced a long running resentment that seemed impossible to overcome. The clergyman suggested that she pray for the person she resented, regardless of the seeming insincerity of her prayers. The instruction was simple: simply pray every day for two weeks and ask God to give the person she resented all of the blessings she herself would like to have. The clergyman was certain the resentment would be removed. The woman, not so much.
My friends shared this story with me because they and thousands before them had tried it and found, by great surprise, that their unbreakable resentments had been lifted. And so I tried it. Begrudgingly. Besides, I wasn’t required to be sincere or genuine in my prayers; I just had to go through the motions. Like everyone who went before me, it worked. Each day, my prayers would loosen a bit more and I found the resentment begin to melt away. God didn’t stop there. The real gift was not just the removal of my resentment, my “ball and chain”, but the replacement of the resentment with Compassion and Love.