GRUDGES AND UNFORGIVENESS
Holding a grudge is like holding onto a scorpion. It will bite and poison your spirit. Grudges and unforgiveness will harden your heart and brew a stiff batch of bitterness. It can destroy relationships and I don’t mean with just the one who wronged you. Others in your life might not understand the story behind the grudge and take sides.
God forgave us while we were yet sinners. I challenge you to consider forgiving the wrong, even if they have not asked for forgiveness or said, “I’m sorry.” It is one of the paradoxes of God’s plan. By offering the person who wronged you an olive branch of love, they start listening and considering their actions. Your unconditional love and forgiveness for a wrong they probably secretly admit to in their hearts, will soften their disposition. It will be an open door. We should “kill” our enemies with kindness; it will be as if we are heaping coals upon their heads.
I like keeping a clean slate in life. I adopted this stance through the unexpected death of a brother many years ago. I often argued with him and although I loved him deeply, we were very different and did not always understand or agree on things. I am thankful that the last time we saw each other we were kind and loving in our actions. His sudden mountain climbing accident was a huge shock to my entire family and I am so grateful that my last memories of him are of peace and love.
As the New Year approaches, it is always good to reflect upon your past year and decide if something needs to change in your life that could produce a more positive New Year. Open your heart to the idea of setting aside any grudges or unforgiveness you still might be holding on to. If you cast it upwards to God and trust that He will settle the dispute and work it out for His glory, your burden or spiritual backpack will be lightened. It will make your assent to that mountaintop experience a bit easier. Who wants to carry a 100-pound backpack when all you really need is a small one and some Living Water for those thirsty moments?
Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” … How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.