Hey relax! Sit back and chill. Let’s take a second to really assess how you feel. I’ve been there too. Having my blood boiling, blood pressure elevated, tense and uptight; all because I saw that person that did that thing to me that time, and never forgot it. We’ve all done it … holding a grudge.
A grudge is an offense most of us have held on to for a long time. Someone did something to you that you find hard to let go. I understand. I can remember a number of times where people used me, took advantage of my kindness, or played me like a fool, and I’ll be the first to admit that it is quite easy to keep that grudge. But I’ve also learned, that keeping such a tight grip on all that negativity does no one any good.
Let me just say, being angry isn’t wrong, especially when you are offended. Offenses are subjective, so it would be arrogant of anyone to dismiss your anger. Everyone may not be able to identify with your indignation, but 9 times out of 10, your anger is probably justified. But anger is a negative emotion: necessary but negative. Just like any other negative emotion, like sadness, frustration and fear, anger produces a physical response in your body, that if it goes unchecked for a long time, can cause headaches, insomnia, pain, and high blood pressure (according to the Better Health Channel). So holding and cherishing an offense will harm you more that it will benefit, or protect you.
There is nothing wrong with getting angry, but don’t hold a grudge. Ephesians 4:26 give us some profound advice about this very thing by saying, “Be angry, and yet do not sin … (v. 26a).” If your anger causes you to want to get revenge, or you can’t wait for someone to bring that person’s name up, so you can tell the story and “blow them up”, you’ve already crossed the line. Your anger is not productive, and non-productive actions usually lead to sin.
The writer acknowledges and even justifies our anger, but goes on to instruct us not to “let the sun go down on our anger (v. 26b).” Now many of us, including me, have taken this very familiar quote, very literally; but sometimes, it is what is, and we can’t help but go to sleep upset. But let me get you off the guilt trip: I don’t believe he meant for us to literally stop being mad by the end of the day. I think he wants us to confront and resolve our anger as soon as possible, and not to let it linger indefinitely. What good does it do you to remain angry? The offender has gone on about their own life, and has probably forgotten what happened. Yet, you’re still mad? That’s not hurting THEM, it’s hurting YOU! So confront it and try your best to resolve it quickly! Even if you come to a situation that can not be resolved, you have to take it to God and ask Him to change you.
So today, let me encourage you to let go of all your old grudges. It’s not worth holding on to, so you just have to say, “NO MORE!” No more seeing red. No more wanting them dead. No more bad words said, let it go, that grudge you just can’t keep it … NO MORE!
© 2016 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
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“No More” was written by Edward Ferrell, Clifton Lighty, Darren Lighty, Balewa Muhammad. Produced by Edward “Eddie F.” Ferrell & Darren Lighty. Performed by Ruff Endz. Released 2000.