Holding a grudge or resentment is the heaviest weight one can carry. Being focused on them can be very addictive, and can take you dark places in your heart and mind. They can take the doper, drinker, gambler, sex addict, every type of addict into a relapse. So, I posed the question yesterday, who is it you cant' forgive? An ex-spouse or significant other, your boss, the company you work for, someone supposed to be your friend, God, church people, President Obama? Chances are good I hit one of them with that list. You may be thinking, I really don't have a grudge against anybody, and I hope that's true. But when you see a person that did you wrong in the past, how do you feel? "He/she will get theirs one these days, or, how could they have done this to me?" Or maybe you envision them getting into their car and it blowing up. Or even their losing everything...you get the picture. The most damaging grudges we carry is in the home, either sibling rivalries or husband and wife discord, when it comes to grudge-holding damage. But the number one life choking, goal killing, addiction starting grudge is.....ready..that person in the mirror, that's right, you. We have to fix this person first.
I know that when I was younger I had ambitions or aspirations of success, wealth, and even fame. I could write that check for the full amount, but had an empty bank account. After each failure, each time I changed jobs to get ahead but didn't, each idea I procrastinated until I forgot about, gave me a literal self-hate that led me into alcoholism...that, I was good at. I resented everything about myself, my upbringing, my education or lack thereof..I wanted to reinvent myself. By drinking and using drugs, I could rub elbows with prominent people and they would shove my sorry self up the latter of fortune. That didn't work. Getting sober and working the AA's 12 steps, and turning my life and will over to God's care did. I then knew that I can forgive myself in the light of His love for me through Christ, and the love of those dear folks in recovery. They loved me until I could love myself again.
More words of Jesus, "...love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those that curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you." Luke 6:27-28 (NKJV)
Families all have struggles with internal grudges and unforgiveness whether in the immediate household, or others like, meddling mom and dads, brothers and sisters, or aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. This internal strife are marriage destroying even if there is no separation or divorce. The driving force behind the resentments are people entering marriage without understanding the partnership and purpose of the union, both striving to control the other, both being intolerant of the other's annoying habits, both spilling their problems on outsiders in the family, neither communicating. Normally, silence is the ultimate killer, no talking it through, just regular explosions and raging when things come to a head. Finally the couple tire of arguing and just don't talk at all. The children pick up that behavior and the parents add to the flames of bitterness by carrying their anger toward the kids poor grades, or messy room. Those little lives become adults and do the same to their spouse and children. So, what's the answer? Just let it go, surrender trying to control. Surrender first to God, turn your will and life over to His care...and mean it, say to Him your sorry. Then ask Him for help to mend up the messed up family relationship. Second, make an attempt to heal the wounds of resentments. Don't say something stupid like, "I can't live like this any longer," you're asking for another brawl. Say this, "I'm really sorry for how things have turned out, can we just talk for a minute?" And expect a "no" at first. If you get that no, start smiling, maybe go around the house singing, and be pleasant. Hug the kids, tell them you love them, they're much more forgiving. Give God time to work on the other, but be surrendered. Don't bring home flowers, make a big meal, or dress sexy. Let it go, let God melt the other's heart. He will. But if you're thinking that this is bogus, he/she hurt me way too bad too often...continue your way, I hope it works for you. But if you want the warmth and love of a home under His influence, try Him. Forgive yourself, forgive your family, life will be better until it's wonderful, you'll see, let it go. Tomorrow I want to go a little further about letting grudges go in regard to God, our jobs, and hopefully friends. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith