Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Grudges are unbecoming for members of the Family of God because God doesn’t hold grudges against us. Therefore, we have no business holding grudges against others.
Even though this is an Old Testament passage, the NT confirms this truth in Romans 12. Here is the list of appropriate behavior for a Child of God, and holding grudges is nowhere to be found.
* Be sincere
* Hate what is evil
* Cling to what is good
* Be devoted to each other in love
* Honor others above myself
* Possess spiritual integrity
* Serve God
* Hope joyfully, wait patiently, pray faithfully
* Share with fellow Believers in need & be hospitable
* Bless those who are mean and do not curse them
* Be sensitive to what others are experiencing
* Live in harmony
* Don’t be proud or conceited or too important to associate with certain people
* Do what is right
* Aim to live peacefully with everyone
* Don’t take revenge
* Don’t repay evil with evil, but overcome evil with good
(See Romans 12:10-21)
I enjoyed the freedom of growing up in a home where these idyllic behaviors were pursued and encouraged. I can’t related to my adult girlfriends whose parents or siblings won’t talk to them or treat them kindly because of misunderstandings that are decades old. I love that in my home apologies were accepted and honored. I never had to re-apologize for single infractions or try to make up for my sins over and over with no end in sight. My family just accepts me and chooses to absorb the cost of forgiveness. There are no eggshells to walk on or sore subjects to avoid when we get together.
Grudges are the worst; they keep both parties in prison as one can’t break free and the other can’t break out. It is the most loving thing in the world to free your loved ones from them just like Jesus did for us all.
Thank you for my parents and for my family giving me a glimpse into the wonderful economy of your Kingdom and for giving my husband and me a wonderful godly pursuit to replicate in our own home. Thank you for the people who love me with all my quirks and rough edges. Thank you for how you treat me too, and help me to always have the desire to treat others in kind (even the real stinkers!). I love you so much and thank you for your ways because they are delightful and good for my heart. And I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.