THE GRIP OF THE GRUDGE
(Lev 19:18) 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
Do you not like someone? Would you admit there is someone you despise? Is it someone who has hurt you, neglected you, thwarted you, or even lied about you? It’s terrible what people can do to another person, isn’t it? But you know what? It’s even more terrible what people can do to themselves . . . by holding a grudge!
When a bomb goes off we call that exploding. When an old building is demolished by charges, we call that imploding. That’s what holding a grudge does. We think it’s hurting the other person but it’s really hurting our self.
Absalom was a grudge holder. He utterly loathed his brother Amnon for hurting his sister Tamar (2 Sam 13) and he also hated his father David (2 Sam 14-15). In both cases he not only held a grudge but also soon acted on that grudge to injure the ones who happened to be focused in his sights. Absalom hurt others but in the end he hurt himself and had a bitter end (2 Sam 18).
The Bible teaches us that we can be free from the terrible grip of the grudge. Paul said it this way:
“...bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (Col 3:13). Remember Jesus said from the cross: "...Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." ... (Luke 23:34)
You might say that this is fine for God but you’re only human and can’t help it. Yeah, you and I are human, but we can help it . . . because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holly Spirit (Rom 5:5). If we yield to Him He will love the offender through us.
If you’re having a hard time with your feelings toward a person, give it to the Lord. Ask God to set you free as you set that person free in your heart. A load will lift from your life and you will find the joy of forgiveness and the freedom from the grip of the grudge.