We love because God loved us first. 1 John 4:19
The return from resentment involves your willingness to let go of the resentful distance between yourself and the other. It is the invitation to stand beside the other as an equal and to return to intimacy. Listen again to the elder son in the story: “All these years I have slaved for you, worked for you, and never once disobeyed any of your orders.” Do you hear the resentment? He could have said, “I was happy to be obedient and to listen to you,” but instead he lashed out at his father, saying, “Never once have I disobeyed.” This is angry virtue! The eldest goes on, “You never offered me so much as a kid goat to celebrate with my friends.”
This same thing happens within me all the time. I feel jealous and angry because that elder sibling in me believes he has to earn his father’s friendship. “I’ve done this, I’ve done that, I’ve done such, and I’ve done so, and you have not given me anything in return.” The elder sibling in us sees the relationship with God as that of boss over slave. Think how often we do that and how far it takes us from unconditional love!
O Universal Heart, remove my self-righteousness and help me to generously receive, then give forgiveness.