“Perhaps the best caricature of the power of resentment was penned by the author Charles Dickens in his novel Great Expectations. There we meet the immortal character Miss Havisham, jilted at the altar many years before. Long ago, she was dressing for her wedding, waiting for the hour of nine when her groom would arrive and the blessed event would begin. The immense wedding cake, along with a sumptuous feast, lay in wait. At precisely ten minutes before nine, a message arrived. The groom would not be coming; he had run away with another woman.

At that moment, time had ceased to move forward in the mansion of Miss Havisham. Every clock in the house registered ten minutes to nine from that day on. Neither did old Miss Havisham’s wardrobe ever change: she still wore the wedding dress and the veil, now faded, yellowed with age and tattered. The windows of the ruined mansion stayed heavily draped so that sunshine might never enter.

For decades the cake and the feast had rotted on the tables, mostly carried off by rats and spiders. The rats could be heard behind the wall panels. ‘Sharper teeth than those of the rats have been gnawing on me,’ said Miss Havisham. And of course she was right. The teeth of resentment cut sharp and deep, and can lay waste to the life that God designed as a feast and a celebration of abundant living.”

As told in David Jeremiah, Slaying the Giants in Your Life (Nashville, TN.: W Publishing Group, 2001) p. 121.


Brian Hedges is Senior Pastor of Fulkerson Park Baptist Church in Niles, MI.