I like quotes by wise people whose ability is to put gems of truth into a short sentence. One such quote caught my attention last week: “It doesn’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.”
I thought, “Do I sometimes hold on grudges?” Nowadays, the carrying of grudges has become well established habit of many. I got caught in such a trap few times.
What is a grudge? Dictionary’s definition helps: A Grudge is a feeling of resentment harbored because of some real or fancied wrong: a feeling of ill will or resentment.
A Grudge is costly. It has ruined friendships, marriages, family relationships, split organizations, governments and churches. And in a long run it also wears down the one who carries it. It causes stress, robs person of peace, affects blood pressure, lowers life enjoyment and solves nothing. And it distorts our 20/20 vision toward those whom we feel or imagine as offenders. Instead of making us large hearted and generous, it makes us petty, ego sensitive and judgmental.
It is easy to build resentment toward a person. Yet most people generally don’t mean offending or hurting us. They don’t understand our inner sensitivities or insecurities. Their cultural upbringing sets them act and communicate certain way. Sometimes in times of stress we tend to be selective hearers catching a phrase out of intended meaning. Good rule of thumb is to place the most favorable evaluation on other people’s words and actions. Few individuals have a magnanimous spirit that overlooks what seems offensive. King Solomon expressed his wisdom in proverbs. Proverbs 19:11: “A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offense.” Yet he recognized that correcting misunderstandings can be a delicate task – Proverbs 18:19: “An offended brother is more resistant than a strong city, and disputes are like the locked gate of a castle tower.” Wow, Solomon knew our human nature, didn’t he?
Have you ever wondered why some people nurture grudges? I have. Having an unresolved issue and living under strained relationship is too costly and painful for every party involved. We should not allow grudges become fossilized in our minds. Extending gracious and forgiving hand toward the one that you feel has caused you pain clears tension and restores peace. Exchanging love, compassion, forgiveness and understanding for resentment, grudge and animosity is much happier way to live. It breaks the silence, initiates reconciliation and ends isolation. Start breaking the walls; become a bridge builder to other imperfect people as yourself.
Go to http://ashcroft22.adventistchurchconnect.org/ for more information on the Ashcroft Seventh Day Adventist Church.