I don’t understand grudges. During this past month, I have heard of various people in families, in churches and in neighborhoods who are not speaking to one another. In each situation, one person offended another person and a disagreement ensued. The disagreement was not resolved and hurt feelings and resentments grew. As a result of such grudges, families and friends are divided or don’t know which side to take, and a big mess is what we are left with. How do you think our LORD looks at grudges? Today I offer you my two cents’ worth, based on the Gospel of Matthew.
In Matthew 18: 4, Jesus tells the disciples that “The greatest in the kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child.” Later in Matthew 18: 21-22, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ answered Jesus, ‘but seventy times seven…’”
How much clearer do we need to hear the WORD before we just get over ourselves and start loving one another? Sometimes it is so easy to collect food for the hungry or donate to a clothing drive, both anonymous acts of charity. Let’s not overlook the people in our own families and our own communities as they need our love, our compassion, our mercy, too. Jesus told us to love one another. He never told us we could be selective in that love. It’s all or nothing, friends. If we know that our grudges are causing another person hurt or pain, the merciful thing to do is to look for Christ in that person and forgive. I know it’s not easy. But being a disciple isn’t easy sometimes. Take it to prayer. Ask God to soften your heart. Be merciful. Let’s work on encouraging one another to be a little more merciful and a little less judgmental.