Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year: Resolve to Give Up Grudges

Chuckle: "Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him. But imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim."
Quote: "He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass." --George Herbert
    “Bear with each other and forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NIV).
In these words, God is challenging us to give up our personal resentments and grudges.  A grudge is a deep ongoing resentment that you cultivate in your heart against someone – leading to unforgiving attitudes and actions.  Harboring a grudge is nursing a destructive dislike for someone.  Grudges destroy marriages, break up families, ruin friendships, and split churches.  Grudges are also self-destructive.  Harboring grudges will eventually destroy you -- if not physically, certainly emotionally and spiritually.  Job 21:25 describes people who “Have no happiness at all, they live and die with bitter hearts.”
"It's been said that a rattlesnake, if cornered, will sometimes become so upset that it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is -- a biting of oneself. We think we are harming others in holding these grudges and hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves."  --Illustrations For Biblical Preaching; Edited by Michael P. Green
Jesus' told a parable about the servant who was forgiven a huge debt by the king and then refused to forgive someone else a tiny amount.  Jesus said his unforgiving spirit landed him in prison.  Max Lucado says, “Unforgiving servants always end up in prison; prisons of anger guilt and depression.  " God says “don’t sentence yourself to prison.”  Set yourself free by giving up your grudges and “forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another,” even if you were wronged.
You may need to give up a grudge and forgive your parents, children, spouse, workmate, a neighbor, or someone in your church congregation.  What better time than the beginning of a new year?  Please don’t tell God, or yourself, that you can’t forgive.  What you really mean is that you won’t forgive.  If Christ can forgive your sinss, despite it involving the pain of the cross, then surely you can forgive and give up your grievance against another person whatever the cost.  To say, “I can forgive, but I cannot forget," is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." --Henry Ward Beecher  
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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