DEALING WITH GRUDGES
Have you ever felt unease right after you wake up in the morning because of a grudge against someone? Maybe you had a disagreement or verbal confrontation with someone at work, home, or school. Perhaps someone said something to you that you were offended. A grudge is a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult, offense, or injury. Grudges usually happen when we cannot express our anger or frustration to someone that has been hurtful or unkind to us. We try to ignore the person or our hurt, but our resentment towards that person never goes away. As a result, we hide and keep our grudges to ourselves, hoping that they will disappear. However, it will not go away until we deal with it. If there is anyone who has the right to have grudges is our Lord Jesus Christ. He was arrested, tortured, and crucified unjustly. Before He gave up His Spirit, He said these final words, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing..." (Luke 23:34).
Our Lord Jesus dealt with His offenders by praying for them. In Matthew 5:44, He encouraged his disciples with these words, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Our Lord Jesus gave us some principles on how to deal with those who offend us:
We have to acknowledge that we are offended.
We have to pray for them, and we can pray that their hearts and attitudes will change. We can also pray for our hearts and attitudes. If they are not saved, we can pray for their salvation.
See things from their perspective and understand their situation. Our Lord Jesus knew that His offenders did not know what they were doing. His offenders believed that what they were doing was good and acceptable but didn't realize that they were persecuting God Himself.
Communicate with them if possible. Our offenders might not know that they are offending us.
Choose to forgive, at least in our hearts.
Let go of our grudges. Let us not dwell on them; instead, pray for those who offend us. Meditate on the goodness and promises of God.
Share our feelings with others so that they can pray for us.
Holding a grudge with someone is not the way God wants us to live our life. He wants us to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 says, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
Ask yourself these questions: Do I have a grudge with someone at this moment? How does God want me to handle my grudges and deal with my offenders?
Write down all the worries that you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, you are always aware of all my situations. You know if I am being offended or the one who is offending someone. Please work on my heart and attitude and help me to live in peace with everyone. Please help me to forgive those who offend me and help me to let go. Someday, you are going to judge the unjust and bless those who are just. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.