When you hold a grudge against someone, it is because you are basically feeling pain of resentment as a result of past insult or injury. When someone hurts you by offending you or by doing something wrong against you, the reaction you show determines the state you will be in.
If someone hurts you, you should never allow the hurt to take control of your emotions, because if you do, you will harbor within you grudge, bitterness, anger, resentment, and those things will grow into a pure hatred, which is equal to murder. So then the process is offense leads to hurt, hurt leads to grudge, grudge to bitterness, anger and resentment, which then eventually leads to enmity, hatred, and murder.
So then if we know that grudge leads to anger, and anger to hatred, and hatred to murder, we should never be offended. However, can a person never be offended? The short answer is no. If we claim to be sinners saved by grace, then we know that we all are imperfect beings who are in the process of being perfected by the blood of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. If we are looking for a perfect relationship on earth, then we are the most offended people on earth because there are no perfect people on earth. So then the answer is that we should expect to be offended but when offended, we should never harbor the hurt or the pain to reside in our heart. How do we do that?
By overlooking the mistakes of others. Proverbs 12:16 says, “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult”. Sometimes we think that overlooking someone’s mistake is a sign of weakness, but it’s actually the most wise thing that we can do when we know that the consequences of choosing the other side is dangerous and not beneficial to us. When we overlook the mistakes of others, we are not saying that the offenders are right. Rather, we are overcoming evil with good. If we fight evil with evil, we will both be destroyed, but if we overcome evil with good, we show that we have pure heart and the offender could have genuine conviction knowing clearly that the fault is on their side, not on yours.
Now you may say, if I overlook at the mistake of the offender then where is justice right? You might feel like you are doing wrong because you feel that it is not just to let go of something that is so wrong and hurtful. However, overlooking the mistake does not mean that the person will not be punished for what he or she did wrong.
Romans 12:17-21 says,
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord”.
We may think that people may have escaped justice, but not so in the sight of God. God will repay everyone according to their deeds. Therefore, we don’t need to take justice into our own hands when God, who is omniscient who knows all things better than us, and is omnipotent who has all power to take justice in his hand. If we take justice into our own hands it may not work, and we might get hurt as a result of it. However, if we allow God to avenge for us, He will never fail! If you really want the perfect punishment for your offender, without you not having to experience any pain or work, then let God do it for you! You will save your time, energy, effort, and pain.
However, as long as we are holding grudge against someone, we are hurting ourselves! We are not benefiting ourselves. In fact if we think that we have a right to hold grudges against someone, then God should hold grudges against every human beings because He has been hurt more than anyone on the face of this earth! The injustices and fraud done against God can never equal or even come close to what we think others have done to us. However, in spite of that, He still loved us and died for our sins, and forgave all our sins. In Hebrews 8:12 God says to us, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more”. It’s not that we sought God but rather, He looked for us, rebellious and stiff-necked people, who persisted in our sins. If God then can forgive our sins, should we not forgive others just like He did? Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”.
Therefore, it becomes easier for us to forgive someone and to let go of hurt when we know that we are great offenders, whom God in Christ Jesus has forgiven us all our debts. If we think we have the right to hold grudge, then God will also never forgive our sins because we are forgetting that we are sinners! Matthew 6:15 says, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. When we see how much sin we have done, we know how much debt we have to repay God! We really can not pay for our sins at all even if we owned the whole world! If then God can forgive all our infinite sins, surely we can forgive the few offenses that others have done against us.
It’s amazing to see that the people that have hard time forgiving and letting go of hurt are people who think that they are the nicest people on earth. They think that they do good to people all the time and people always hurt them. Although some of what they say maybe true, because they have exaggerated view of themselves and never accept that they make mistakes or offend anyone, it becomes hard for them to forgive others. It is so sad to see that most murderers that you see in prison were at at one time good people who when hurt could simply not forgive or let go of an offense. You learn from this that it is never right to have a high view of yourself! You need to know that you are always a sinner, being perfected by the perfection of Christ always forgiving others, as we are being forgiven by God. If society will learn this principle, the crime rates would drop and peace would reign in the family, cities, and nations.