One of the fastest ways to quench the power of God in your life is to hold a grudge. We have all done this at some time in our lives and I can tell you from experience it’s not worth it. Why would any Christian want to destroy their relationship with Jesus Christ and other people? When we hate anyone it is impossible to love those around us. It’s like drinking rat poison because we desire to kill the rat. It’s ludicrous.
I’ve been thinking about forgiveness this week because my husband is preparing to teach a new Christmas series called The Miracle of Forgiveness. We have often discussed why people get stuck in their spiritual journey or don’t get saved at all. Unfortunately the most common hindrance to quenching the power of God in your life or remaining a baby Christian is holding a grudge. Holding a grudge reveals that we believe life is not about Jesus but our own personal ego, desires and ambition.
How do we know when we are holding a grudge? Four simple ways are:
1. We avoid the person.
2. We refuse to return the phone call, email or text in a timely manner.
3. We speak negatively ABOUT them but refuse to speak TO them.
4. We block them on Facebook. (not referring to blocking someone who is offensive on status posts or someone who you have set boundaries with due to dysfunctional behavior.)
A grudge is wrapped up as hurt, anger and frustration but it grows out of a wound to our pride. This damages our reputation because others can recognize this in you whether you realize it or not. When we hold a grudge we come across as emotionally and spiritually immature. We certainly don’t come across as Christlike because forgiveness is the core essence of who God is. Holding a grudge keeps us from living in sync with the great commandment to love others as ourselves. In Matthew 5 we are challenged to even love our enemies.
Unforgiveness always leads to hate. We cannot have a relationship with God and hate. I’m thankful that I have a godly husband and friends who bring out the best in me and confront me when I am not extending grace to someone. People who encourage sin are not healthy to have around. That is why I am very careful who my inner circle is. I don’t want a friend who encourages sin and dysfunction.
In your world of relationships, which one is the most difficult for you to extend grace? Why? I heard Andy Stanley say that when we don’t forgive it is because we are afraid of something. What are you afraid of?
Who will you forgive today so that your relationship with God can be restored?