Today it occurred to me how severe my grudge holding is. I woke up around 5:30ish this morning, and I was immediately kind of salty. Why you ask?! When I was a little girl, all our dogs “ran away”. My parents divorced when I was finishing First Grade. We (me and my brothers) went to live with my grandparents. We would get a new puppy every so often, none lasted for a full year though. They always ran away. We had a couple full blooded beagles, and they had cute names like Jack and Jill. That is not their real names, but to protect their confidentiality, that’s what we will call them. After awhile, they ran away too. I searched for weeks, friend. Weeks passed as I tried to find those dogs. Little 9 year old girl, every day after school, I looked for those dogs over the acres of fields and forest that surrounded us. I would call their names over and over again, tears streaming down my face……Jack…….Jill…..here girl…….here boy…..over and over again, for hours, daily. My grandparents knew I was searching for these dogs, like all the ones before and the ones after. I just knew they were scared and lonely, hungry, and they needed rescuing. So I tried to find them. And I would cry.
Turns out, those beagles, or any of the other puppies, didn’t run away. Jack and Jill got a name change and entered witness protection I guess, because we never saw them again. Years later, well past any dogs life expectancy, I find out the dogs never ran away. My grandparents GAVE the dogs away. THERE IS A VERY BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RUNNING AWAY AND GIVING AWAY!
Now, this might seem rather insignificant on it’s own. However, couple that with both parents cutting out, essentially running away, and it can give a girl some real trust issues. Moral of the story – do not lie to your kids. What you tell them now does matter. Thirty years from now, they may wake up , and start analyzing every bad decision they made, because you told them all their dogs ran away. And your kids, like me, might even hold grudges.
BUT – before you go thinking I am going to blame everything in life on this, I am NOT. I could, and probably get some psychologist to back me on it, but I won’t. I know I am capable of making completely bad and wrong decisions all on my own, and without reason. That, and I would absolutely hate to pin everything in my life on a couple, or 20, dogs “running away”.
The focus today has been grudges. I hold a grudge against my grandparents for lying to me about dogs, and I hold grudges against two people I work. We will call them Donald and Mick. Why? They called me “little girl” the first time they spoke to me. I was 30. Maybe even 31. Five to six years later, I can’t stand them. Don’t want to talk to them at all. Avoid them like the plague. I hold grudges.
Tonight, I asked myself an important question: Can you forgive someone AND continue to hold a grudge? The Bible tells us that forgiveness requires forgetfulness. Forgiveness requires no record of wrong doings. So, how could one forgive and still hold a grudge? I would argue they can’t. Which tells me the Lord showed me today that I hold grudges, and I do not forgive. Which reminds me of a chilling Scripture: “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.” Mark 11:26 AMP. OUCH!! That’s Scripture. Truth. Yes, it’s one verse out of many, but I do believe if researched through all 66 books of the Bible, you will find it’s truth. We must forgive to be forgiven. Why? Well, we are ambassadors of Christ. We act on His behalf. We represent Him. We are being transformed into His image. The entire Gospel hinges on forgiveness. We must forgive.
Starting today, I am a recovering grudge holder. I want my Father in heaven to forgive me. I must also forgive. I forgive first. My life depends on it.
Lord, open my eyes and my heart to those who I’ve held grudges against and harbored unforgiveness towards. LORD, bring me to forgiveness for those who have hurt me, lied to me, or in other ways upset me. Teach me to love like you do, Lord. Teach me to forgive. In Jesus’ most precious and holy name I pray, Amen!