Dump Those GRUDGES!

Matthew 6:14-15

The last two weeks we have been looking at how we can have a new beginning in our lives. I need to clarify that we cannot have a new beginning by starting our lives over again (we can’t get back in our mother’s womb and be born again), but we can change our lives so we will have a new ending . . a different life for the rest of our lives.

We have determined that if we do the following things, we can change our lives:

    1.  Cultivate friends who lift us up and support our best self
    2.  Face our problems head on
    3.  Think of our successes and hopes and dreams
    4.  Always try to solve our problems, no matter how difficult.

Now we need to again look at ourselves, things we do that keep us stuck in the past so we are unable to move into a new life.

We need to stop holding grudges.

Grudges are probably the worst thing we can hold onto if we want to change our lives. A “grudge’ is a ‘feeling of resentment or ill will over some grievance’.

A ‘grudge’ is not an actual physical things that can be picked up, carried or seen. But it is something that is ‘carried’ internally; it is real, it is heavy, and the effects of carrying it inside us can be seen outwardly in our actions toward others and ourselves. It can cause great harm to us and others physically and mentally, and though it is not visible, it can grow bigger and, in time, completely rob our lives of those things we want.

We are warned against holding grudges in several scriptures in the Bible; we are told in Ephesians 4:31-32:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

What is ‘bitterness’? It is being resentful, angry, hostile and very cold to others. God’s word clearly warns us against bitterness. It takes us away from God’s grace. In fact, the Bible says it defiles/corrupts us. Hebrews 12:15 speaks of grudges as the ‘root of bitterness’.

What do we know about roots? Roots are hidden in the ground; you can’t see them. So bitterness starts out unnoticed. Bitterness is like a cancerous tumor that grows it is not surgically removed. Bitterness begins hidden in the soil of our hearts. Its roots grow in the heart and mind until they choke the life out of us emotional and spiritually.

Grudge bearers are always looking for those to team up with against the object of their grudge. We can’t physically see the grudge, but it is hidden in our hearts; something we have a tendency to hang onto, even hold close. It’s a resistance; it’s a reluctance; it’s a rebellion, and it’s a resentment. We know we should forgive and forget, be we don’t and won’t.

Why?

Because it’s too easy to hold a grudge. In fact, in some circles, we are actually expected to hold a grudge. We compare our grudge with someone else’s grudge and compete to discover who hold the greater grudge.

Are you holding a grudge?

There are three main things that holding grudges does to us:

    Grudges rob us of joy

    • If we really want to be happy and have joy in our lives, we CANNOT hold grudges.
    • When we hold a grudge, the hate we are holding inside us is stealing joy from our lives.

     
    Grudges rob us of time.

    • Holding a grudge requires a lot of energy; energy to keep remembering the hurt and feeding that resentment.
    • The more we hold onto a grudge, the less time and energy we have for us to move forward.

     
    Grudges rob us of our focus.

    • Holding grudges will seriously steal our energy and prevent us from being able to fully focus on where we want to go in our lives.
    • Holding grudges makes us angry, angry enough to take our minds off what we want to accomplish.

All this keeps us from moving on.

It is all right to be angry. Anger is a valid emotion when something wrong or unfair happens to use of someone else. Be we must not let our anger control us. Things will go wrong in our lives; a disagreement, someone cuts us off in traffic, someone wrongs us. These things happen; we can spend our time complaining or we can find a way to make things better.

Lots of things have happened to us in our lives that have hurt us. But we waste a lot of energy that could be spent doing something new and wonderful when we hold a grudge against a person or thing. We can’t love our lives with hate in our heart; hate robs us of feeling joy and pleasure. We end up hurting ourselves more than the person who angered us.

We are warned:

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26)

We hear again and again in the scriptures that we must forgive:

If you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:14-15)

Forgiveness is not saying “What you did to me is okay”. It is saying

“I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever”.

Forgiveness is the answer . . . let go, find peace, free yourself!

Conclusion
There is a thief named ‘Grudge’ and he comes in and out of our lives. He steals joy, time and our focus. Bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness builds up to be very ugly things in our lives and causes a negative effect on all our relationships.

So, in thinking upon all of this, it just be might be a good time to take a good look at ourselves and see if we are harboring grudges.

If we are, we should resolve to let them go. We should take those grudges right now and get rid of them. Then, make it a point to say

“I will not allow my life to be robbed by a grudge”.

We will truly be happier for having made that choice. For, if we choose to carry forgiveness in our hearts, there will be no room for any grudges to burden us down, and we will be able to walk in freedom to live joyful, rewarding lives.

To recap, we have determined that if we do the following things, we can change our lives:

    1. Cultivate friends who lift us up and support our best self
    2. Face our problems head on
    3. Think of our successes and hopes and dreams
    4. Always try to solve our problems, no matter how difficult
    5. Don’t hold onto grudges
    6. Forgive those who hurt us.

We can do wonderful things if we just:

    1. Don’t dwell in what ‘didn’t happen’
    2. Don’t hang around with people who drag us down
    3. Believe in ourselves – thinking we can do something is halfway to doing and being
    4. Learn from our mistakes, but don’t dwell on them; move past them, remembering what we learned from them
    5.  Be open to new experiences; do not be afraid to try – take a chance!

Amen.

 

Delivered at In The Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 31 May 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s