“Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them–the one who had leaned over to Jesus during the supper and asked, ‘Lord, who among us will betray you?’ Peter asked Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord’ Jesus replied, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.'” (John 21:20-22)
I used to think that resentment was inevitable. No sooner had I arrived at the Christian Surfers Bible study Thursday night when in walks a delivery man with a stack of pizzas–forbidden fruit for me, since the cheese and crust both leave huge amounts of acid ash in the body when digested. It smelled so good! To resist temptation, I moved apart from the rest while they were eating and worked on setting up the music and my guitar. Unfortunately, I took a pile of resentment with me.
“Why is it that all the rest of the crowd can eat pizza, and it doesn’t seem to hurt them one bit?” I complained to God. I waited for an answer. The thought came reminding me of my improved health–that I am almost down to my ideal weight and that I never get sick any more when others around me are sneezing and coughing. I expressed my gratitude to God, but I pleaded for help to overcome my resentment toward the others.
The next day the above scripture came to mind, and it contained the cure. Here was Peter, resentful that he had been given what was–in his mind–a tougher mission than John. He questioned Jesus about it and was basically told: Don’t concern yourself with what I ask of others. Be concerned about what I ask of you. “You follow me.”
So, throughout the day yesterday I kept my attention on what the Lord was asking of me, instead of comparing my assignments to those of other people. My resentment disappeared, and I felt all my energies being poured joyfully into the tasks that were mine to do. A grateful heart replaced the envious one, and the peace that passes all understanding returned.