By Rev. Doug Clay
A grudge comes from one of those negative inherent instincts that, if not managed well, can make quite a mess for you.
‘Grudge’ is an actual word. It means “to have feelings of persistent ill will toward someone, or to harbor resentment over a grievance.”
To “hold” a grudge means “to deliberately carry around a feeling of resentment over being hurt.” In other words, it’s an unforgiving attitude that can lead to bitterness and a prolonged season of hurt. Just saying the word has a negative sound—“Grr…udge.” Sounds like a growl that won’t budge!
Grudges come as a result of being hurt by someone you love, trust and/or respect. The more you dwell on the hurt, the more susceptible you are to feelings of anger, vengeance, resentment, injustice, etc. And if you are not careful, you can become more hurt by the negative feelings that your grudge produced than you were by the original offense.
Forgiveness is the best redemptive way to let go of a grudge. After all, forgiveness means to let go of resentment or thoughts of revenge. It doesn’t mean you excuse or deny what happened, but it is a redemptive process that can keep you from being swallowed up by your own feelings! Here are some scriptural suggestions to managing your grudge instinct.
You need God’s strength to forgive.
John 15:5b (NLT)
…“For apart from me you can do nothing.”
You’re better off letting God do the repaying.
Romans 12:19 (NLT/MSG)
Dear friends, never take revenge. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
You don’t want to give Satan an opportunity.
Ephesians 4:26-27, 31 (NLT)
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
You can hold onto a “grrr-udge” or you can hold onto God’s promises, for within them there is freedom!
Rev. Doug Clay serves as the General Treasurer of the Assemblies of God. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.