Genesis 27:41, NIV
Esau held a grudge against Jacob, because of the blessing his father had given him.
The English word, grudge, is so expressive. It sounds exactly like it’s meant to. Not very nice! Show me a person who is carrying a grudge against someone else, and I will show you a person who is limping through life with a serious disability. The extent of that disability is directly related to how deep and bitter the resentment is in the heart of the person who is bearing the grudge.
Esau bore a grudge against Jacob for the way he lost his father’s blessing. Jacob did not behave well and had cheated his brother. As a result Jacob had to be on the run for his life for many years, because of Esau’s grudge and his murderous anger. It destroyed the rest of Esau’s life too, and robbed him of so much.
The fundamental issue at the heart of carrying a grudge is always unforgiveness. When unforgiveness grows in intensity and become hatred, it turns into a grudge, and a person with a grudge can then turn in his anger against whoever has hurt him, sometimes even in violence. When a serious crime has been committed the police will always look for a motive for the killing. When they find it, so often they uncover a long-held grudge which has eventually become an uncontrollable force in the person’s life leading to them committing a crime.
I feel the Lord very specifically directed me to this Scripture for today, because there will be people who are reading this devotional who are carrying long-held grudges against certain individuals who, like Jacob did to Esau, have hurt them, robbed, them or cheated on them. What has happened is fact and cannot be changed. But there is one thing that can be changed – and that’s your attitude towards the person or persons involved. Carrying a grudge against them can only ever create more problems for you.
Unless you forgive, that grudge will be like a developing lameness in your character and personality, which will eventually rob you of your capacity to live and enjoy life. And it could even lead you to do something that you would forever regret.
I realise it may be hard, but may I encourage you to live the Lord’s prayer, and forgive, as you would want to be forgiven. Allow Jesus to take the pain and the hurt and trust Him with the outcome – and watch Him heal your limp as the change in your heart releases you from the bondage of the enemy – and, even, brings His blessing into the life of the person who hurt you. That is what Jesus did for us – won’t you do to others as you would want Him to do for you? Carrying a grudge is always destructive. Forgiveness is always life-transforming.
Prayer: Help me, Lord, to forgive anyone against whom I’m carrying a grudge. I don’t want to be limping through the rest of my life because of the attitude of my heart. I do want to live the reality of the Lord’s Prayer. Help me to overcome the resistance of my own carnal nature and walk in your ways. In Jesus Name, Amen.