Holding a grudge harms you more than the person who wronged you

With all the injustice in the world, it's hard not to hold a grudge.

If you're a single person, there are many ways you can be mistreated. Women usually have it worse than men. We expect fairness, but often we get just the opposite.

Yet the Bible warns us against this kind of bitterness:

'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)

Have you ever lifted a car battery? They're very heavy, because they have lead plates inside. They're also filled with very corrosive, dangerous acid. So are grudges.

The heaviness of carrying these hard feelings can wear you out. The acid can eat away at your peace of mind.

Unlike a car battery, these hurts can't supply power; they can only drain off the power you have.

Do we trust God--
or not?

To let go of this kind of injury, you have to entrust it to God. No doubt about it, that's hard to do. Somewhere we got the mistaken notion that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

But can you think of anyone more capable than God? If you want justice, if you want something done about your mistreatment, doesn't it make sense to let this all-powerful, all-wise, all-perfect God of ours take care of it?

"Don't slow me down!"

If one of your goals in life is spiritual growth, then you've got to jettison some junk on your journey. Those weighty, cumbersome feelings have to go. They're holding you back. They're slowing you down.

If you spend time looking in your rearview mirror at the bad memories you're dragging behind you, you're taking your eye off the road ahead, and that's an invitation to a crash.

Over the course of your life, if you can't develop a thick skin, you have to learn to give your grievances to God. If you've trusted him with something as crucial as your salvation, can't you trust him with your inner hurt, too?

Jack's truths for thriving.

Entrusting your hurt to God is a matter of survival.

"Okay, so how do I do it?"

1. Stop relishing your grudge. Stop being like a miser playing with his coins. Stop examining your hurt, turning it over and over again in your mind. Whenever you find yourself doing that, STOP immediately, and start thinking about something positive, like your goals or plans for the future.

2. See your resentment for what it really is. Refusing to let go of festering hatred is sin. God wants it. Give it to him to do as he sees fit. When you obey God, you open your hands to receive his blessings.

3. Remember that grudges are one of Satan's favorite tools. You're too smart to play into Satan's hands. By uniting with God, you can defeat Satan every time. By refusing to dwell on that hurt, you evict Satan's harmful thoughts from your mind.

4. Grudges have no place in the life of a believer. Jesus showed us how to live, and he did not harbor ill will. We're not to become a doormat, a willing victim for bad treatment, but we are called to live big, holy lives. Grudges are the domain of small, petty people, not you.

5. Be a wise steward of your time and energy. Each of us has only so much time and energy. If we waste it on the negative, we have less to use on the positive. Stewing about how unjustly you were treated is counterproductive. Instead, why not try focusing on all the good things God has done for you and how much he loves you?

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