Expert Grudge Holders by Christine Hitch
Christians are experts at talking about forgiveness. But actually doing it? That’s a different story. Forgiveness can sometimes be easy, but most of the time it’s just really hard. I would like to think of myself as a pretty forgiving person, but when I think of how Jesus forgives, I realize that I’m not always doing it right.
We as humans are expert grudge holders. We may act like we have forgiven someone, but can still conjure up hurt feelings from memories long ago - like how I can still get upset about the girl in second grade who told me I was fat!
We even label people by their sins, like the liar, the cheater, the backstabber, the thief. Could you imagine if Jesus labeled us all by our sins and held a grudge?
Thankfully, he does not…
Psalm 130:11-12 - For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Our sins are erased from His memory.
When we actually stop and think about how amazing His grace is, how wonderful His love, how deep His forgiveness, it might be easier for us to do the same. Holding a grudge not only hurts the other person, but also ourselves. There are some things that I not only need to forgive, but also let go of, even if they didn’t ask for forgiveness. I need to free myself from the burden of holding on to a sin.
Ephesians 4:31-32 - Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
And just as importantly as we need to let go of other’s sins, we also need to let go of our own sins. I so often ask for forgiveness but can’t shake the guilt of what I’ve done.
I beat myself up about it.
Thankfully, His grace covers any and every sin, big or small. When you ask for His forgiveness, He ACTUALLY forgives us. It is gone and we can start over. As humans, that is such a difficult and radical concept for us to understand!
So friends, let’s be reminded to live each day as though we are forgiven, and that we are called to do the same for others.