“Attributes of Love” Series Introduction: 1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love”, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 lists the attributes of love. So in this series, we’re going to discuss each of the attributes in those verses, one by one, to learn more about the nature of God.
Ok, definition time again. re·sent·ful : feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated unfairly.
I think God would have a right to feel resentful, because he has been treated unfairly! He has created the entire universe – given us life and every good thing – and most of us don’t even acknowledge Him! But it has never been about fairness. It can’t be. We can’t possibly appreciate God, or give back to God, enough to balance out with what He has done for us. He has never expected us to!
What did God want from Adam and Eve?
Genesis 2:15-17 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Put simply, He wanted obedience. What does He want from us? Obedience. Not because obedience would balance anything out, but because that obedience would save our lives for eternity. – it is not about fairness, it is about love.
We would do well to follow His lead on this. We expect so much of others! We almost always expect people to be fair, and appreciative, and pay us back. Sometimes we expect it when it isn’t even possible. Jesus had this to say about what we should expect when we do something nice for others:
Luke 6:32-36 32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
If you have no expectation of fairness – no expectation of receiving anything in return – then there can be no resentment about being treated unfairly. If you gave freely because the Lord asked you to give, then you did it for the Lord, so your reward would come from the Lord – not from the person you gave to.
Galations 6:8-9 …but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Resentfulness will eat you up, but you will not have any need to feel resentful if you aren’t doing things for people expecting rewards from people – people who will eventually fail. Instead:
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.