Does anybody think holding a grudge is a good and productive thing?
Probably not many people do.
Are you holding a grudge right now? I am. Do I think it is a good thing? No, I don’t. Then, why do I insist in holding grudges?
What is a grudge? I really like the On-line, Urban Dictionary definition: “a grudge is a bad feeling or hate you hold against another person for something bad they did, or you think they did, to you.” My favorite part is, “or you think they did.” A grudge, therefore, is a matter of perception. It involves how you perceive others have acted toward you. The problem is, however, that our perceptions may or may not have anything to do with reality. Does it matter? No! It matters not one bit whether we are wrong or not. It is all about how we perceive reality to be. And the thing is that often times, our perception of reality is totally fabricated in our minds…or at least that’s what happens to me.
In my case, I hold grudges when I perceive the other person has offended me. I could be very sensitive in some areas. And when I perceive an offense there, I react aggressively. And no matter how the other person tries to explain they didn’t mean it that way…I hold a grudge. Why? Because they hurt my pride…yes, it all boils down to pride. I get offended because I am very sensitive to my pride.
I hang on to the offense, I hold the grudge until I see the offender humiliated enough to satisfy my wounded pride.
Beautiful! Really? Not according to Scripture, is not…I have an inflated opinion of myself. I am what the Bible calls, a haughty (I smile when I say this because with my accent there is no difference in the pronunciation of haughty and hotty : ) Anyway, this is what the Bible says about those like me:
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16: 18
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5
Yikes! I’m in trouble. My pride is nothing to be, well, proud of. God doesn’t look kindly upon prideful people. It is one of my biggest struggles. By myself I am helpless. The good news is that I don’t have to battle alone. There is something stronger than pride. There is something that defeats the arrogant heart. It is God’s grace. His Grace covers the sins of His children. His grace descends in the heart of His beloved and acts as a soothing balm that covers the haughty and clothes him/her in humility.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2This command is only possible because of Grace. That is why I am writing about this; to remind myself that pride is not good. Harboring a grudge is against the law of love because it cultivates pride. Giving into a the satisfaction of holding a grudge is a temptation we need to avoid by breathing in humility and by remembering that we are not perfect either. We offend others all the time too. We are sinners. But we are also forgiven. Therefore, forgiveness needs to come into place as well. Forgiveness is the fresh scent of Grace. In my case, I also need to remember that I am not all that. I should not think of myself as something, when I am nothing, because…
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6: 3