Written by cycleguy on February 26th, 2013


Those in the church will often hear the phrase:  “It never ceases to amaze me how God operates.”  Holy mackerel has He taught me this in spades just now!!!!

Background: a counseling session.  A song.  A blog post.  What in the world do those three things have in common?  I know this is not fair, but PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR TOMORROW.  Seriously, I wrote tomorrow’s post before this one.  Before I opened this book and saw the title for this week’s topic.  I AM NOT YANKING YOUR CHAIN!! To borrow a phrase: this is almost creepy.  🙂

Jon Stolpe and I are blogging about Love Works and today’s chapter is titled “Forgiving: Release the grip of the grudge.”   It opens with this quote:

The longer you hold a grudge, the longer the grudge has a hold on you.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever that everyone of us has been wronged at one time or another.  EVERY ONE!  I would imagine since that is true, it is also true we feel we have the “right” to hold a grudge.  Happens all the time.  I heard the other day of a man who hated a whole sports team because his wife ran off with one of the athletes.   Little overkill don’t you think?  And yet, I hear that all the time about the church.  “I don’t go there because so-and-so does/did. He was a Class 1 hyp-o-crite.”  People shoot up malls or schools because of a grudge gone wild.

I can’t even count how many times I have told the folks at the church: “If you fail to forgive, that person owns you; you are their slave.”  To make it worse we let it fester.  The longer it festers the uglier it gets; the harder it gets to be rid of it.

Christ-followers need to forgive.  But the negative to this is when we allow someone to use and abuse us and take advantage of us.  There comes a point in time when enough is enough.  It is habitual?  Is it damaging your reputation?  It is hurting your work relationships and production?  Put a stop to it (using the right channels), and don’t feel guilty about not being a pushover.  But even that situation calls for the release of the negative vibes. Don’t hold on.  Don’t allow the enemy a foothold.  “Forgiveness releases you, not the person you are forgiving.”   (p.146)

One last quote I am sure you have heard before which Joel uses: “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”  Forgiveness is never easy, but man is it worth it!!

Do you have trouble with grudges or are you a person who forgives easily?  What are you going to do about it?


24 Comments so far ↓

  1. I had some trouble with some folks in a former church around 18 months ago. I like to think I have forgiven them, but I get all sorts of anxiety when I see them out in public.

  2. the Old Adam says:

    Pretty good for the most part…but that’s not the standard, is it. The Lord is after perfection, if we are to rely on what we do to make ourselves right with Him.

  3. Daniel says:

    I say I forgive easily. Does that count for anything?

  4. Dan Black says:

    I’m find it really easy to forgive and forget. I think working with troubled youth for so many years has allowed me to not take anything personally.

    Holding grudges can negatively effect a person on so many levels. No matter how hurt or hard the situation it’s important to give it to God and then forgive.

    Great post Bill!

  5. Jon Stolpe says:

    Bill, Excellent take this week! Yes, I’ve struggled with grudges in the past. It is so freeing to release these grudges through forgiveness.

    Here’s my take on the discussion this week:

  6. The crucial thing for me is to remember what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not saying that what was done to you is OK. It’s not saying that you were unhurt. It’s not saying that you realize now that it was no big deal.
    I’ve held on to bitterness before because of those reasons – I didn’t want forgiveness to give the impression that I was suddenly thinking everything was no big deal.
    Instead, I’ve had to learn that forgiveness is turning it over to God for him to treat justly.

    • cycleguy says:

      Great input Loren! We often do mistake forgiveness for just falling over and saying the slate is wiped clean. It doesn’t always happen that way. Maybe seldom.

  7. Susan says:

    What Loren said. Yep. Seems like it’s impossible to get through this world without being hurt. Not forgiving perpetuates and aggravates the situation. It’s like picking at a scab until finally you have to have the limb amputated.

    No one in my birth family (with the possible exception of my dear grandmother) ever let go. Of anything.

    I think that I began to learn to forgive as I read What’s So Amazing About Grace. It’s still not an automatic thing. I have to go through it step by step.

    One thing that has helped me a lot is the principles spelled out in Philippians 4. Rejoice in everything (really really hard to do some days) and meditate on the good stuff. It takes being intentional about both, but oh when that little switch in my head clicks as I start down Woe Is Me Avenue and reminds me of my growing lists of positive things to think about, it lifts my spirit and I can smile again.

    • cycleguy says:

      Well said Susan. It is important to think about things that are “pure, right, etc.” That spirit of thanksgiving sure makes a difference.

  8. David Rupert says:

    Bill, I try so hard to punish someone else by not forgiving, but the only one who is really suffering is me.

  9. floyd says:

    Time and lumps have taught me that holding onto poison isn’t worth it. It is pride and ego that hold onto grudges as though we were like “as gods” demanding to be treated like a god. If my Father can forgive me and let go of my trespasses, who am I to think I’m more than He?

    People who don’t know or trust in God will trespass against us every time, it is their fear of the world. If they knew our Father intimately, they wouldn’t do it. If they need to know our Father better, shouldn’t we; the ones being trespassed against be the very ones who show them our Father?

    I’m with you, Bill. I am a slave, but to my Father… not the things of this world that rests in His hands…

  10. Ike says:

    Luke 17:3..“If your brother sins.. rebuke him.. and if he repents.. forgive him”.

  11. I have the hardest time with unrepentant people I have to see all the time. The more distance I can get, the easier it is to forgive. I do believe that God honors our desire to want to forgive. I ask for the ability to forgive before I take Communion because I know this is God’s will. I just don’t always “feel” forgiving. That comes later.

    • cycleguy says:

      Those are the kind who bother me as well Melanie. It is almost like they are belligerent in their arrogance. My best bet is distance until I can “see straight.”

  12. Debbie says:

    Forgiveness is something that I always want to do and have to do . .and need to be reminded of and read about. So thank you! Sometimes I think I’ve forgiven someone, but find I may need to again, and again . .and again. He is so faithful to help me! Once, God gave me a lesson about bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness when our dog took off. We got her back, but she was covered with ticks. I pulled them off and thought I got them all. But the next day, the ones I missed were there, all enlarged and gross. (Sorry . ..hope this isn’t too much info) God showed me that’s what happens when I don’t forgive and let bitterness grow. It drains me. God bless you as you forgive today!