I believe holding grudges only hurts us, not the perpetrators. Often, they don't realize that they've done anything to hurt us. And, some could care less. But, if we hold it in, it can cause stress, sickness, and . . .
Is it easy to hold grudges, rather than forgiving someone? Has someone done something to you or said a harsh word that you've had trouble forgiving? I ran across an article in a magazine where two Mothers had lost their sixteen year old sons to a gunshot. One was minding his business with friends, walking on the street, and a drive by shooting occurred, and he died. The other Mother's son made a mistake by going to a party and got into a fist fight. The other guy pulled out a gun and shot her son to death. I am sure the pain and agony was terrible on those Moms, as well as their anger toward the shooters. But both Moms learned to forgive, through the Word. One of the Mothers said she was praying the Lord's prayer and the word 'forgive' just jumped out at her. She said she knew, at that moment, she had to forgive the killer. The other Mom was sitting in court, when she realized that God said we had to forgive. She bought a Bible and took it to the teenager in prison, hoping it would keep him from ever wanting to use a gun in that way again. He later said she had shown a true Christian attitude, because she could have held a grudge the rest of her life.
I believe holding grudges only hurts us, not the perpetrators. Often, they don't realize that they've done anything to hurt us. And, some could care less. But, if we hold it in, it can cause stress, sickness, and perhaps take us to the grave. I believe our 'attitude' goes a long way in how healthy our heart is. If you hold in 'poison', it will soon poison your whole system. We need to be cleaned, and this comes through forgiveness. We have a hard time forgiving, but we have a loving God that is ready to help us overcome our hurt feelings and learn true forgiveness.
Remember the tale of the King, in Matthew 18, who was taking account of all his servants. There was one who couldn't pay his debts, and the King was going to sell him and his family so the debt could be paid. But, he got down on his knees and asked forgiveness, and the King complied. But, same servant went out and found a fellow servant that owed him money, and demanded payment. He had already forgotten the forgiveness that was awarded him. How quickly we forget, when the shoe is on the other foot! Well, the servant couldn't pay the debts and the first servant refused to forgive him. When the King learned of what he had done to a fellow servant, he sent for him and demanded the reason why he had demanded payment from this servant, when he had just been forgiven. He quickly sent him to his tormentors until his debt could be paid! Remember, things usually catch up with us. God wants us to be forgiving, just has He chose to forgive all those that caused His death on the Cross.
Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Copyright 2005 by Barbara Sanders, Empire, AL. Used by permission.
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