Grudges are persistent feelings of bitterness that accrue from our past experiences. It always arises due to a past injury, insult and rancour we have with people who were once close to us. It can also occur even with someone we do not have much relationship with.
Most times, because of our ugly encounter with them, we tend to harbour deep grievances and malice seeking opportunities for revenge.
Sometimes grudges also arise due to some expectations that were not fulfilled by the other person. Grudges do come from past hurts, betrayals and people’s bad attitude towards us. Hence it is a persistent ill-feeling that occupies our hearts for a long time. This does happen especially when we remember what happened in the past especially against someone we once loved and trusted.
On some occasions, whenever we remember our past hurts, we feel like retaliating and attacking the person there and then. Most times when the thoughts come, we sigh deeply because of the deep injury they cause us. There are many today who are still living with anger, bitterness, resentment etc towards their loved ones, friends, relatives and people who were once close to them, because of their encounter with them. To ease the grudge sometimes looks difficult. For some, the only antidote is to revenge.
One day I visited a friend and we were busy talking about our dreams and purposes in life. At a point, we also began to discuss our days in secondary school. As we were discussing, I mentioned the name of a teacher that forced us to read widely during exams.
Immediately his name was mentioned, my friend sighed deeply and began there and then to enlist all the bad things He has done to him. He told me ‘any day I see that man I will deal with Him’. Sincerely it has been a decade and more since we left college but I discovered how painful he felt and how he is still longing for revenge.
When you open the hearts of many today. You will be surprised that our hearts are full of grudges, bitterness, regrets and sadness for someone who has hurt us in the past. On most occasions, we do replay the scene over and over in our minds. Hence this continues to affect our emotions and everything we do.
The question then is; ‘how long can we carry this kind of malice and grievance against each other’? Bearing grudges will only affect our psychological, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. It can even affect our health and make us lose weight within seconds. So the best thing is to ease it out. We have to find a way to let the grudges go.
It is time to release whatever that is causing us daily bitterness. We need to be happy again and free our hearts from every grievance we have against anyone. This will be better for us than going around putting our lives in danger. There are many who are still harbouring ill feelings against someone since the last five, ten, twenty and thirty years and yet we answer children of God and even pray that God forgives us our sins.
It is time to forgive. True forgiveness deals with the past. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus instructs that if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly father will surely forgive you but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
In the gospel of Mark 11:25, Jesus also adds that whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against someone so that your heavenly Father may also forgive you. Grudges block our blessings. God does not want His children to live in any form of dissension. Despite that many today see it that those who try to maintain this are weak and cowards. Despite that, our soul is more important than quarrelling with anyone.
Living in grudges is like living in prison. It is trying to allow the past to continue to affect our present. Hence, this is toxic to our spiritual and mental growth. Never live in grudges. Sometimes it is true we have to feel bad when things we do not expect are done to us but we should not also allow the feelings to continue to linger to the extent if begins to affect whatever we do.
Ephesians 4:26 says that you do not let the sun go down on your anger. We do violate this and keep allowing ourselves to live in discord for many years. When we hold a grudge, we continue to recall the pasts, and hence allow the negative emotions to affect us. This type of attitude subjects us to a series of psychological problems. To be free again, we have to ease the grudge gradually. When the feelings try to come back again, focus your mind on anything resourceful, think of something good.
According to Wendy Wesner, grudges do come because of the following reasons;
1.If what happened is extremely regretful and painful
2.Then if the hurt and betrayal are from someone we least expect
3.If he/she refuses to accept responsibility for her actions
4.When you expect something from someone and the person ends up disrespecting you
5.Finally, when a person fails in his/her promises. Even when he/she ends up to pay you back with evil and betrayal etc.
When these and other things happen, the easiest thing we may do is to feel pained and live in regrets. There may be times they may even apologise to you. Sometimes because of how deeply pained you are. Also because it has been occurring without any sign of stopping, you refuse to forgive. Hence the end result will be pains.
I once visited a man in the hospital who is very sick. Before I prayed for Him, I decided to have a little interaction with Him. During our discussion, he was busy pointing at all the people that did bad to Him. Some of the people he mentioned are already dead, while some have reached up to ten to twenty years. When I asked Him, if He can forgive and let go, He shouted “never!! He is praying to be free one day and show them who He is. When I saw how precarious the situation is and how he was unwilling to let go, then I understood the burden one truly bears when he refuses to let go of any past hurt or injury.
Take time and examine all the people who did bad to you. Then Evaluate the ill feelings you have against them, make a decision to free your mind. Do not give someone the chance to take away your joy. The experience may be too bad but we cannot continue to allow ourselves to live in the next one to three years burying ourselves with past injuries. Hence we deprive ourselves of inner joy because of someone. It is time to be free.