Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Grudges is defined as a persistent feeling of resentment resulting from a past insult/hurt.
The world is filled with people of diverse ways of life and attitude. Because of these differences in people, it is very easy to step on peoples toes. A grudge can set in whether you step on someones toe or someone steps on your toe. Our attitude and mindset towards an offense goes a long way in determining if a grudge will be nurtured or not.
In our text today we are encouraged to be kind, tenderhearted and to forgive one another just as Christ forgave us. Mark 11:25 says “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
This tells us that as long as there is a grudge, there is no true forgiveness. Whenever you forgive, you let go of that grudge. From the scriptures in Mark 11:25 it is also clear that our prayers cannot be answered if we do not forgive.
As children of God we have not been promised an all rosy journey here on earth. We will face temptations of different form, our patience will be tried by men, God will allow us go through situations designed to train us. The question you must ask yourself is how do i handle situations that offend me.
Jesus in Luke 23:34 cried out to God on behalf of his killers saying “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”, Stephen when he was about to die in the same vain prayed for his killers (Acts 7:60).
What really must have made these men show such love and forgiveness to their wicked killers?
I believe they judged all situations beyond the physical. They recognized the enemy (devil). Their killers were not the enemy. Their killers were slaves in the hand of the devil, they were just ignorantly fulfilling the works of their father.
They also saw men the way God see them. Jesus had compassion on his murderers because he knew they never knew what they were doing. He had compassion on them because he understood they were captives of the devil.
In the same vain child of God, in overcoming grudges we must build our spirit man to understand spiritual things. We must identify when the devil is using someone or a situation to delay answers to our prayers. In addition, we must learn to forgive and hand a case over to God.
If you are struggling with a grudge say this prayer aloud (call the name of the person in the blank line)
Lord Jesus, thank you for your love and perfect plans for me, i feel bad in respect to how __________ treated (or responded to) me. I want to forgive _________ but find it really hard. Please speak to my heart, help me to forgive _______. Teach my heart to love ______ again. Amen.
Repeat this prayer as often as you feel the pain in your heart.