Jul 20, 2022 filed under Living Virtue.

Red head with beaming smile

Most of us have carried a resentment against someone for something they did or didn’t do that upset us. Yesterday, at a church meeting, someone who said they would bring cookies and lemonade, but didn’t do it. I immediately felt angry that the group had been mis-served in that way; especially the newcomers. I tried to hide that I was angry but didn’t do very well.

Without raising my voice, I pointed out to the group and to her that she hadn’t done what she said she would do.

I remembered too late that I am not her shepherd, God is. She and I have different temperaments and priorities. She has wonderful gifts that I do not have. But I wasn’t thinking any of that at the time. I let my emotion get the better of my thinking-brain.

I saw afterward that it was not helpful to her, the group, or to myself to let it bother me and to show how I felt by the look on my face.

St. Paul to the rescue
Then, in the scripture I was reading this morning, God put this in front of me: “Jesus Christ…was never anything but “yes” (2 Cor 1:19). This was worth pondering, so I asked, “Lord, how can I be like Jesus Christ and be “yes” and not “no”? How do I overcome the urge to resent people who don’t do things my way, and then make sure they know I’m not happy about it?

Typical of God, he gave me the answer a few lines later: “Domineering over your faith is not my purpose. I prefer to work with you toward your happiness” (2 Cor 1:24).

Okay God, I thought, maybe I can do this—to let You guide people as you see fit and allow what You see fit—while I focus on working toward the happiness of everyone I meet. Maybe this is my ticket to more peace, less regret, and closer union with You.

But God wasn’t finished with me yet. As I was absorbing Paul’s words and beginning to understand why I want to stop being resentful, God put a cherry on top in the next thing Paul said:

“If anyone has given offense, he has hurt not only me, but in some measure every one of you. The punishment already inflicted by the majority on such a one is enough; you should now relent and support him so that he may not be crushed by too great a weight of sorrow. I therefore beg you to reaffirm your love for him” (2 Cor 2:5-8).

So I did that later the same day. I sent the person an email congratulating her for some great work she did in another area. Thanks to the words of St. Paul just when I needed them, I was able to avoid making it any worse or prolonging the pain. Or as Paul put it, “Any forgiving I have done has been for your sakes and, before Christ, to prevent Satan—whose guile we know too well—from outwitting us” (2 Cor 2:10-11).

Yes, I learned a little about the enemy’s deceitfulness after he convinced me that I was judge and jury of another person and I fell for it. Like Peter, I sank when my trust in God wavered. But thanks to St. Paul, the Lord pulled me back into the boat, dried me off, and sent me on my way with a loving smile and a reminder: “Why did you doubt?” (Mt 13:41).

Love always,

16 Responses to “How to Always Be “Yes””

  1. Esther Davis

    My trouble is: I repress things like that when they happen. Then it becomes a bigger problem. Reading Scripture ‘always tells me off’ when I need it. But then I say to myself, is it better to repress it or express it and get it off your mind. I think with me, it’s better to repress it, and work it out God’s way. Father knows best.

  2. Terry

    This line really struck me: “…..while I focus on working toward the happiness of everyone I meet.” For me, that summed up all of it perfectly. We’re called to love others as He loves us. It is an extremely difficult thing to do in many, many cases & with consistency. I just keep working on it & praying about it. He loves me & He loves obedience & my humble efforts to be obedient.

    • Sharon

      Thanks for pointing out the line about making everyone happy…I needed to re read that!

  3. Nancy Scimone

    Rose, Thank you for sharing your real life experiences. I can certainly relate to this resentment feeling- Ugh. I love how you weave these profoundly clear scriptures into your experience. This is very helpful.

  4. Debbie

    Hi Rose,
    I can relate to this experience and of His calling to my attention my ways and how to charitably respond moving forward. HE’s always there for us ❤️
    What a nice surprise to see you standing with one of my favorite Priests, Fr Frank. I am a member of PFL for 2.5 years now and they have been very helpful in my time of need.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us ❤️

  5. Jan

    Thanks Rose. This hit a nerve with me. Thank you for sharing your real life experience. There is a person I have apologized to, yet this person has not forgiven me. It makes for a difficult situation with family gatherings. I continue to pray for this person.

  6. Anne Gordon

    Many of us have been in your shoes Rose.
    Thank you for sharing your experience and bringing it in to the light. As always your
    real life experiences help so much. You’re in my prayers. Safe travels! Can’t wait to hear about your experiences.

  7. Judy

    So much to ponder here in my own life! Thanks so much for sharing this, Rose. I am so very guilty of getting irritated with people who fail to do what they said or what I EXPECT they should do! (Not thinking of my own many failures!)

  8. Sharon

    You hit this example in my life…thanks for sharing.

  9. liz

    Our bishop said yesterday that God’s answer when we pray is always yes and some times God says I have something better for you. I appreciate the word you gave us. I will continue to meditate on it in my bible. Peace and gratitude.

  10. Peggy Duenas

    Thank you Rose for your words of
    Encouragement. Sometimes it can be hard to not say anything. Safe travels

  11. Tom Roberts

    This brings to mind the Martha and Mary story and how much there is yet for me to learn. Martha welcomes Jesus and sets about to serve him while Mary sits beside the Lord listening to him speak. Martha complains to Jesus that Mary isn’t doing her part to which Jesus replies that Mary is doing the BETTER part.

    This is my opportunity to go one up on Jesus: “Oh yeah? Cool! I’ll sit down and listen too. We’ll cancel lunch.” True, Martha is serving but she sees it as a burden. There’s a good chance that Jesus is telling Mary that serving can become part of her identity; “This is who I am. I serve with joy. I cannot not do it.”

    I have to admit that the Martha and Mary story has been, over the years, one story I couldn’t quite get.
    Yet there have been occasions when the burden of serving was transformed into joy because I did it out of sheer lovingness. As I said, there’s more to learn. More discoveries; pretty good!

  12. Lucy Edwards

    I have been through this path several times and was advised by a priest to simply look the other way. It has really helped me. Thank you Rose for always building up my strength with your experience, your words, and
    your encouragement.