by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18, CEB)
How are you with grudges? I generally do pretty well, but I can be prone to them, especially when I feel particularly hurt. Things like that happen to everyone, and if you aren’t careful, you are the one who gets weighed down. There is an old saying that carrying a grudge is like holding an anchor and jumping in the sea; if you don’t let go, you’ll drown.
God’s wisdom in today’s verse is echoed throughout the Scripture. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t let anger and resentment get the best of you. Forgive as you are forgiven. Love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t do anything to anyone else you wouldn’t want done to you. So why do we continue to hold grudges?
Behavioral scientist, Dr. Steve Maraboli wrote, “When you hold a grudge, you want someone else’s sorrow to reflect your level of hurt, but the two rarely meet.” There is a lot of truth in that. Misery loves company, and when you’re miserable, you want others to validate your feelings…that’s human nature. Forgiveness is supernatural, though. You might not feel like the person who wronged you deserves your forgiveness, but you deserve peace.
“Life becomes easier when you accept an apology you never got” (Robert Brault). It frees you from the feeling you have to look out for that certain someone’s car on the road, or around the corner at the market. It frees you from dreading the rings or dings on your phone or computer. It frees you up to live freely, regardless of what happens around you.
Are you holding any grudges today? Release that anchor…let it go. Forgive for the sake of yourself. Remember what God said, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.”
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being patient with me. Forgive me for the times I don’t forgive others. I want to live freely and lightly, and ask for your help in the name of Jesus. Amen.