Post details: having a grudge and working through forgiveness


Permalink 06:53:18 am, Categories: By Trent, GraceHead counseling, 831 words   English (US)

having a grudge and working through forgiveness

I got a real tough question 5 days ago, and this one really got me thinking and praying:

What is the difference between having a grudge against someone or unforgiveness? I feel I will still help this person if I had to but I just don't care to be in their presence because of what he has done and caused in my family.

I finally started my reply, but I didn't know what I was going to say. It just came together as an answer to prayer. Read more ...


I have felt the same way. Being honest, this is a current personal struggle for me. Even to want to be around a family member, with whom their presence is distasteful to me. I had to search deep within myself with this question. I don't have any quick patent answers to disperse, because such subtle impressions upon the soul are not easily untangled.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you. - Colossians 3:13

I don't want to be like a man that was forgiven a million dollar debt, and went out to beat up someone that owes him a nickel, but often I find it hard to let things go. Just because we want to be as forgiving in this way, we often lack the presence and strength to carry out the desires. So, learning to love our enemies, is a lesson in our weakness.

What if we are created weak? What if it really would be more of a shock to God to see us love enemies than it would surprise Him that we often don't? I'm just saying that it isn't right to assume that we can simply fulfill the ways of the Lord on our own, even when we desire to. We simply can't do what we want to do on our own, can we?

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. -- Romans 7:18-19

We can't do it on our own. We are weak. We need Jesus.

God designed it this way.

What I feel, is my weakness pulling against the temptation, and it vexes me. I can't handle it, but was I ever supposed to handle it??

I can not handle it, nor am I supposed to handle it. I can do nothing apart from Him, so I've changed my attitude, and react differently. I take each vexation that I feel in my weakness as a prompting and opportunity to cast myself upon the Lord.

For when I am weak, then I am strong. -- 2 Corinthians 12:10

I just couldn't have strength, when I refused to admit that I was weak. I could not find His strength to forgive and love my enemies, when I would not admit that I have no ability on my own to do it. It is a breakthrough of power to be aware of our weakness.

Now, we aren't hiding our weakness, we embrace it as God's design. There is no self-discipline to overcome it, we just surrender it and trade-up for His strength.

I have run out of love for my family member, but truth is ... I never had enough love anyway. I want to love, but I am empty of it, with none to give. Lord Jesus, you have love to spare, so I welcome you hear. Holy Spirit, come and be the love for others that I lack. Father, I choose now, what your will is ... the manifestation of your love in me, but not by power, nor by might, but by your Spirit. Come, God, and be in me exactly what I am not, for I know I cannot love with your love. The design of weakness in me, has become an opportunity for your grace, and I welcome you to live in me, as though it were me, but knowing that it is you ... loving even my enemy.

And I love, but it isn't me. Well, it is me, but it really isn't. It is the Lord Jesus, living in me as though it was me. Only I have made a new choice, and welcomed Him and His ways, to come and efface my lacks.

I wonder if you are in the same place, where you absolutely need the Lord Jesus every minute of every day. You always did, but now at least you are more aware of it. You need Him to be the love that you cannot supply. It will have you kissing the cheek of your offender, and them thinking that you are a wonderful person. All the while you will know that you ran out of love a long time ago. All the love is not yours, but out of His bountiful supply.

Be strong, friend, in the power of His might.

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Comment from: Pam [Member]

Maybe the first step is really realizing than an enemy can truly be one of your own household, a member of your family. These are the hardest enemies to love because of our expectations of family. It is easy and common to feel guilty for not feeling as we expect we should feel toward someone in our family and embittering when they don't feel the way we want them to toward us. Guilt and bitterness impede the work of the Lord in us and through us. Even Jesus was not recognized for Who He truly was in His hometown and I read this morning in Mark that, "He could do no mighty work there except to heal the sick". Even though He worked miracles of healing, the hearts were so hardened against Him in the town where He was raised, that no one came to faith by those works. It is likely, that even if we are so surrendered to Jesus that we are able to kiss our enemy-family-member on the cheek, they will still think evil of us. There is at that point, nothing left to do but shake the dust from our feet and move on. What matters is our being faithful to Jesus and not allowing our expectations of family leave us in defeat.

This is a lesson that I'm in the process of learning and what you've written couldn't be more timely for me.

Permalink 02/16/07 @ 10:41
Comment from: SocietyVs [Visitor]
"What is the difference between having a grudge against someone or unforgiveness? I feel I will still help this person if I had to but I just don't care to be in their presence because of what he has done and caused in my family."

I had this happen in my family also and I confronted my family on the issue. The outcast was an older brother that had done a lifetime of hurt to all the other siblings - and we are talking some messed up stuff (I won't go into detail but he lived a life of intimidation of us).

I said it was 'high time' we forgive this guy - we can't keep holding onto past hurts and rejecting him (he is a person with plenty of hurts also). He seemed to be reaching out and wanted to reconnect with the family. There was a lot of dis-trust of the person but I accepted him as a brother again. This guy had caused me as much hurt as anyone else - but I know that God loves him too.

In the end, he has become a more normal person and has garnered some respect in the circle again - all because he was willing and we were willing. True forgiveness is a hard thing to reach but once you are there - and you feel the freedom - there is nothing like having one less burden to carry around.

But to each in their own time.
Permalink 02/16/07 @ 14:31
Comment from: Len [Visitor] ·
Thanks for sharing this one, Trent. We must forgive, ... but there are times also to confront and deal with the wrong-doing.

Of all the great old proverbs, perhaps none is more telling than this one:
"To error is human; to forgive, Divine."

O THANK YOU, JESUS ! for the grace of forgiving and being forgiven ! - truly: they go hand-in-hand.

Remember this also:

* There is the grace of RELEASING forgiveness...

and then

* There is the grace given to *the repentant heart.*

BOTH are necessary in their time. ... but the latter is very much conditional and ever remains such.

blessings & Shalom.
Permalink 02/16/07 @ 23:40
Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·
“Forgive everyone that sins against you and I shall also forgive you,” says the Lord.

Are we only blessed by having obeyed God, knowing that disobeying God is sin, or has God blessed us with a deeper understanding? To obey God is righteousness but to understand why we obey is a greater joy and a blessing. We must forgive all others so their debts to us can be released, and in this are we also freed, by letting go of anger and not giving into hate. By allowing ourselves to be filled with anger and hate, we are prevented from the fruit of the Spirit, having consumed the corrupt fruit of the devil. Give up hate and judge not your neighbor; neither hold onto trespasses. There is no forgiveness in the judging of those who have wronged us. The person who does not judge has already forgiven them in their own heart. Trust in God! He is the only Righteous Judge. We are the judged, having passed from judgment into life, by the grace of God, through Christ. Rather, let us be fully converted in our hearts, embracing complete forgiveness, as Jesus has completely forgiven us and those who have also sinned against us, by His death on the cross.

In absolute forgiveness is there also absolute freedom...complete joy.

P.S. With this taken to heart, let us also remember this is a process and need not be done in the the others presence. In fact the Bible says to not keep the company of the wicked for good reason and this includes family members.
So then, love them, pray for them, kindly entreat them and forgive them?... Yes, but also stay seperate as much as possible.
Permalink 02/19/07 @ 10:05
Comment from: Len [Visitor] ·
Thank you, brother. that was an excellent addendum to this wonderful teaching and exhortation of the wisdom and beauty of offering forgiveness, ... but maintaining a healthy separation as well, ... unless or UNTIL there is a repentance and TRUE reconciliation.

thank you again and Shalom.

Permalink 02/20/07 @ 09:17

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