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Holding a Grudge is Like Drinking the Poison and Expecting the Other Guy to Die

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."
~Lewis B. Smedes

Happy belated new year, my friends......I hope your Christmas Season was overflowing with blessings.......

As you have noticed........my time here in "blogville" has been less and less frequent these past few months. Although I do miss visiting many of you all and being blessed with your inspiration and thought provoking words....I have been pressing through some areas in my life that have taken up a higher priority.

So I try to always share the good, the bad and the ugly of "*~Michelle~*". I have always kept it real, and today is no different as I share a little glimpse of what has been going on with me.......and the beauty of answered prayer.

I am all about posting positive uplifting messages, being cheerful and trying to keep a smile on my face 24/7 despite any sadness/hurt toiling inside....but I have never been good at acting either. So I am guessing that one of the reasons I have MIA....is that I was unable to come here and just jot down some fabricated upbeat message. Just can't do it. Never been good at being fake.....in fact, I wrote about my thoughts on being"phony bologna" in the past.

The purpose of my blog/diary....is to share what God is stirring up in my life. It is not to paint some perfect storyline of some hippie Christian gal and focus on "me". No, I just hope/pray that through all the babbling and grammatical nightmares.......that even one person will be able to relate......in the good, bad and ugly....and be directed to Him in all circumstances.

So here is a little "ugly" for you.

I hold grudges.

For big offenses and sometimes for the most ridiculous ones. In fact, I white knuckle them. Like that Target cashier who wouldn't take my $5 coupon because it was torn near the expiration date even though you could CLEARLY see was dated 2011 and this was still in 2010.......yeah, she is dead to me.

(OK, that was a little harsh.....and not very Christian-like....it's a little over-the-top/over-reacting, but I will never go to her line again..........hmmmpf, take that cranky lady!)

There is something controlling, powerful and rewarding about holding a grudge, isn't there? Well at least that is what the enemy has infused in my heart. Yes, being the control freak that I admittedly am.....it is how I find myself wired when dealing with hurt and disappointment.

..... until recently.

Yes, lately I have found myself entering a new chapter of my life. A chapter that includes the possibility of losing someone close to me soon. Someone who I have built up walls in my heart from the resentment I have allowed to harbor there.

Isn't it true that when you experience the reality of death or impending death of someone in your life, you then realize your own mortality as well? It becomes so apparent what really is important....and how life is too short to be wasted in a negative mindset.

With this discovery.....I found myself not praying for God to change what was happening in my life, but rather to change *me* and my heart as I go through it all. I prayed to have His heart......to have His compassion and forgiveness.

What is crazy is that I know that God forgives me every day. And I totally mess up too many times to count. Yet, He still loves me and gives me chances. The Word says His mercies and grace are new everyday. So who have I thought I was to not extend the same to others?!?

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. ~Mark 11:25 NLT

And lastly, forgiveness is not saying that it settles all questions of blame, justice and fairness. But it is the only way to break the cycle of blame--and pain--in a relationship. It does allow relationships to be restored.....not only with the person you are forgiving, but most importantly.....with God. We have the chains of anger/bitterness broken off of our hearts and are finally free. Free to be happy, free to love......and be loved.

So here is where I am......in the middle of a transformation. I am not fully there yet, but can see the beauty of what is to come. I consider this another gift from God to be able to feel the walls slowly be broken down and have His warm love pour into a place that was once empty/cold. It is a gift for me to experience the love/relationship that was meant to be. And the gift of not having any regrets.

How about you? Do you hold grudges? Are you honestly able to overlook people who brought about past hurts and love 'em like Jesus?

Peace, love and stay barefoot~



Bill (cycleguy) said...

This is spot on Michelle. I am going through something right now in-house and it is tearing me apart. It should come to a head tonight. I am disappointed and the anger will probably come. how I deal with it will be important. I am not, by nature, a vengeful person or one who holds grudges. This will test it. I have heard it said (and have used it) "If you refuse to forgive someone you are their slave." I don't want that.

Kristina P. said...

What a relatable post for so many people. I let little things go, and I can forget things when people upset me, but I will always remember.

Andrea said...

AMEN....Let it go and Let GOD! That is what I remind myself! A grudge only hurts me more!


Mich said...

You had my attention with the title.

I love your honesty and I think God does use it everyday to bless people.

Grudges? I am a people pleaser by nature, which pretty much means I will forgive easily. Problem is I hardly ever forget.

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness can seem like such an insignificant thing, but it holds so much power over the quality of our lives. We all have ample opportunity to take offense and hold our grudges, but filling up with that is like always spoiling our dinner with cookies: we're full, we feel sick, and we can become malnourished. It's just unhealthy and His grace is sufficient for us to make the changes necessary. Thanks for the reminder, Michelle. Blessings...

Shark Bait said...

"I am prepared to bury the hatchet. but I always remember where I buried it."

Peggy Arteberry said...

Ouch and oh me! I want to say I don't hold grudges, but alas, I do. I want to hurt others as they have hurt me~ or worse. I know not to, and most of the time I don't. Most of the time others don't realize they've done anything because instead of speaking it out like I should, I remain quiet. I love the title.. and think it's so true. An old pastor of mine comes to mind everytime I see that quote.

Amy DeTrempe said...

I love it!

Anonymous said...

I love the title on this! totaly love it!! :)

Karen Peterson said...

I used to be really bad about holding grudges. And, in some ways, I still am. But I'm getting better about just letting things go.

Honestly, though, I completely related to this post, as I so often relate to what you write about, Michelle. I need to be better.

JC Dude said...

I so appreciate your honesty, it shows your willingness to change. Forgiveness is freedom and we all need to embrace that.

H. Gillham said...

I followed this link from Duane Scott.

You are a lovely writer --

and grudges are just our human - ness -- I know that I have had times when it took me years to forgive --- I told someone one time that I thought only God can truly forgive -- for He is Divine -- we can pray it away -- which I have done -- but I notice that what truly goes away is the fact that I forget about it, but if it is brought up again, then I remember.

So, is that really forgiveness?

I dunno.

Is that like a grudge?


Toyin O. said...

There are times I hold grudges too; but the One that started a good work in us will bring it to completion.

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Hi Michelle ... I think that when we do this -- when we learn to pray for God to come in and change our hearts -- we are learning one of the most powerful pieces of the Christian prayer life. This sort of prayer changes who we are from the inside-out, helps us see God's world through His eyes, and prompts us to love others in the way that Jesus taught us to love.

God bless you, sister!

Kim said...

Love the quote used for the title.

Very thought provoking and real!

I need to store this to my memory and call on it when I find myself harboring resentment towards another. All of these things slowly eat away at us.....changing who we really are on the inside.

wife.mom.nurse said...

how wonderful it is to be back here and sharing in your life once again.

I am sorry that you are going through loss.

I can relate to not posting...for many reasons. Mostly just being so darn busy.

Take care friend,

Alicia The Snowflake said...

That was beautiful my friend! Forgivenss isn't about the other person. It's all about us...our heart...our freedom in Christ. May God continue to soften your heart and work in this situation. Blessings to you my friend!

Sheryl said...

forgiveness is tough! but so glad that you see that it is YOU that is being held prisoner. and if God so freely forgives us how can we not extend it.

easier said than done. boy, don't i know it. great to hear your "voice" hear again. i've been mia myself for awhile. just making the rounds at 320 am..haha

Anonymous said...

I googled "how to pray grudges" and have bookmarked your blog. I found it to be a blessing and will remember you in my prayers. Holding my grudges has almost ruined my marriage.
Thanks so much, Melinda


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