God never stoops to carry grudges. That’s one thing I used to do best. Oh, yes. You wouldn’t find anyone who did it better.
Then I learned three facts that changed me:
- Carrying grudges is a characteristic of immaturity.
- Carrying grudges is detrimental to relationships.
- Carrying grudges is a colossal waste of time.
What is a grudge? Thesaurus lists resentment, bitterness, ill will.
Have you ever thought that God had ill will toward you? That he was trying to get even with you? That he was carrying grudges?
Long ago, before I knew God as I know him now, I sometimes thought he had a grudge against me. I didn’t get that idea from anything he did. I lived by feelings, not fact.
I felt he had a grudge because I knew he was entitled to it. I was so good at carrying grudges against those who disappointed or hurt me, naturally I assumed he reacted the same way when I disappointed or grieved him. I didn’t know him very well.
Over time I came to know my heavenly Father well enough to climb into his arms when I felt disappointed or hurt. Cradled in his strong embrace, I gained grace to forgive those who wounded me and lay aside my grudges.
By the way, that isn’t a once-and-done thing. Life brings disappointment—and opportunity to carry grudges. How we handle them determines whether we live in a pit of discouragement or in the glorious abundance our Father chose for us.Life brings disappointment—and opportunity to carry grudges. How we handle them determines whether we live in a pit of discouragement or in the glorious abundance our Father chose for us. Click To Tweet
God doesn’t carry grudges. He just doesn’t. How do I know? Truth-proof: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
We can learn a powerful lesson from one of the best-known passages in Scripture. John 8 records an incident involving a woman caught in adultery. The scribes and Pharisees brought her to Jesus and asked what should be done to her, since “Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned.” They weren’t concerned about the woman. Their motive was to trick Jesus and find a reason to accuse him.
Jesus didn’t speak. He stooped and using his finger, wrote on the ground, as if he hadn’t heard them. When they kept asking, he stood and said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
“And those which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one…and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” He spoke to her.
“Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord.”
What did Jesus do next? He could’ve said, “Get away from me, you sinful, hopeless woman. You aren’t worthy to be in my presence!” But that isn’t the Jesus we know. He said, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”
Forgiven! No grudges!
God never stoops to carry grudges. He always stoops to love sinners and forgive our failures—great and small. And aren’t you glad?God never stoops to carry grudges. He always stoops to love sinners and forgive our failures—great and small. Click To Tweet
If I had any doubt, these Scriptures settle it.
“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalm 86:5).
“Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin” (Psalm 85:2).
“…I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34b).
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13).
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Colossians 3:11-12).
Following Christ obligates us to forgive. Forgiveness erases grudges. Our Lord doesn’t carry any, and he doesn’t want us to, either. Life is better when we live it his way.
Would you open your heart and share an experience when God’s forgiveness offered grace for you to forgive someone else? And please pass this article on to your friends!
© Dianne Barker 2019