Mark Affleck

 Are You Addicted To Holding A Grudge?

August 12, 2019
Spiritual Growth

One of my online followers just asked me a compelling question about FORGIVENESS. Her focus was on forgiveness being a mandatory, MUST DO ACT in God’s eyes, not just something we should “TRY TO DO.”

I quickly determined that she was summoning her grudge over and over again. In fact, she had developed a deep dependence on it. She was addicted to her “I’ll never forgive” pain.
Before responding to her “why we MUST forgive” question, I ran quickly through what FORGIVENESS is and is not.
First, what it is NOT.

  • Denying the reality of our suffering.
  • Condoning the hurtful act.
  • Wondering why the offender offended.
  • Basing forgiveness on our feelings.
  • Thinking we are better than the offender.
  • Reconciling which takes both parties to pull off.

Now, what it IS.

  • Viewing your identity and worth as belonging to Christ.
  • Releasing us from our grip on anger toward the offender.
  • Healing our wounds and changing the hurt into hope.

Finally, why it is a MUST.

  • God has forgiven us and he commands us to forgive others (Luke 17:4).
  • Failure to forgive creates a barrier between us and God that stunts our spiritual growth.
  • Holding back forgiveness puts our authenticity as a believer in question.
  • We cannot demand that God forgive us and then fail to forgive others.
  • We cannot move on when we hold a grudge.

Jesus gave us the model for forgiveness while hanging from the Christ when he said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
We must choose to forgive and let God bring judgment to our offender. And that starts when we surrender our will and ask God for the power to forgive.
I ask God to help me identify any area where I need to forgive and guide me to get it done.
Are you holding a grudge?
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

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