What happens when we hold a grudge against someone for something they did or didn’t do, or did or didn’t say? Perhaps we hold a grudge against someone for never meeting an unspoken expectation that we had set for them in our minds.
“Guard you heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” – Proverbs 4:23, HCSB
So what’s the big deal about a grudge? It takes up valuable real estate in our hearts, space that could be given to God and used to love someone.. maybe even ourselves. Grudges we hold are not limited to OTHER people. Sometimes we detest some quality or lack thereof about ourselves so very much that we build up feelings of anguish and discontentment that overflows in negative thoughts.
- “I hate my ___________ [thighs, nose, etc]. I’d be happy if only mine were ______________ [smaller, bigger, thinner, etc].”
- “If I was a little less / more _________________ [organized, in shape, etc], I’d be so happy!”
- “If only I had _____________ [a husband, a better job, a cleaner house, more time], then I’d be so happy!”
Do any of these sound familiar to you? The if only scenarios seem to be blocking our happiness. But maybe there is something more, something deeper?
Let’s take a step back and really look at these if only thoughts.
- Did you get this information from a credible source? That you won’t be happy until you achieve / obtain _____ .
- Are any of these goals CONCRETE things that will sustain your happiness, or are they fleeting and temporary feelings?
God knows us and sees us for who we really are. He forgives us of our many shortcomings and imperfections and still loves us anyway. Why do we struggle to forgive and love “as is”?
Perhaps you have some area of brokenness in your life right now. Maybe a relationship in need of mending, a habit you can’t seem to kick, a neglected duty, or just a pile of grudges against someone. God is calling us to look deeper and find those areas where we are withholding forgiveness. Look closely. These grudges may be towards another person, towards God, or even towards yourself. When you find these grudges, give them to God. Allow Him to shine His light on the areas of smudgy darkness. A clean heart is a healed heart. Only God can miraculously erase smudges long engrained on human hearts.
“That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.” – John 1:5, HCSB
Let God heal your broken and smudged heart. His light can outshine, overwhelm, and overcome any pain that you have. His laser of love will mend your broken heart and make you whole again.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” – Psalm 139:23-24, HCSB
[HCSB: Holman Christian Standard Bible]