5. Remember That as You Forgive, You Will Be Forgiven
Slide 5 of 5
“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Luke 11:4
Stripped down, a grudge is simply a refusal to forgive someone who has wronged you. If you’ve done everything you can to reign in your anger and sidestep the troublemakers in your life and yet you still find yourself enveloped in a grudge, remind yourself of this: Jesus tells us plainly that Our Father’s forgiveness of us will mirror our forgiveness of others (Luke 11:4).
As flawed human beings, we’re quick to ask for forgiveness from others but much more unwilling to extend forgiveness. After all, the person who wronged us may have done nothing to deserve our forgiveness.
In situations where the person who hurt you hasn’t apologized or even acknowledged his wrongdoing, you can choose to show the compassion and humility that God expects you to show in choosing to forgive this person (Colossians 3:12-13). If you find that forgiving the person is still especially difficult, the Bible teaches that a good time to extend forgiveness is during prayer when our thoughts and hearts are united with God (Mark 11:25).
It’s important to note that to forgive someone means to consciously let go of the ill-will you hold towards that person for the sake of you moving on from the offense. Forgiveness does not require that you associate with the person who harmed you, especially if that person continues to engage in the hurtful behavior.
Scripture counsels us to find balance in both forgiving our trespassers (Luke 11:4) and protecting ourselves from danger (Proverbs 22:3).
In short, life is too precious to spend it gnashing your teeth at someone else’s bad behavior, especially considering that a grudge often hurts you more than the person you’re holding it against. Instead, turn to the Bible verses above to release a grudge’s hold on you by switching your focus to peace, humility, and forgiveness.
Dolores Smyth writes about her life’s passions—faith and family. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. You can follow more of her work on Twitter @LolaWordSmyth.
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