As Women of the Way, we seek Unity in the Body as we focus on Who unites us rather than What divides us.
We are One Body with many parts. We are One Church with many voices.
Join me in welcoming Reno Anderson, author and Bible teacher, as she shares her voice on Unity.
Have you ever held a grudge?
Are you holding a grudge against another believer?
One of my sisters-in-law once told me that she did not understand that I couldn’t
hold a grudge, as she was willing to grudge it out to the bitter end when she had a
disagreement with someone. I said that life was too short to hold a grudge and
that I wanted to spend my energy elsewhere. I wanted to always follow the
directive of Jesus to treat others as I would want to be treated.
Now, I have been told that I can be sweet with a little hurricane mixed in. If I
disagree with you, you are going to know it. But we can “discuss” it, get through it
with love, kindness, and forgiveness for each other. Then, after that is done, can
we not just get back to enjoying each other’s company?
Why do we find it so hard to make authentic clean connections with other
Why do we desire God’s grace for ourselves, but refuse to give a little
grace to others?
Don’t expect Non-Believers to Behave in a Godly Manner
I am writing this during the Christmas season, and my husband and I will not be
getting together with family this Christmas, mainly because family is far away, in a
different province or state, all facing Covid19 restrictions, or frankly, because
some of them are holding a grudge, and will until the bitter end.
In the past, I have often expected non-Christian unbelievers to act and think like a
believer would act and think. God has recently shown me that I can only expect
other believers to think and act in godly ways. I have no right to expect the same
of non-believers, as the Holy Spirit does not live in them, or guide them in their
daily lives. If they want to hold a grudge because they were lied to and believe
that lie over the truth, then I can only pray for them, and forgive them if they hurt
Followers of Jesus Should Act Differently
However, I must make very sure that I, a Jesus follower, a Woman of the Way, am treating others exactly as Jesus would have me treat them. So that means not holding a grudge, especially not against a fellow believer. Not stewing in my anger, my hurt or disappointment. If it is only my feelings that have been hurt, we can get over ourselves, and quickly forgive someone else having a bad day.
Biblical Guidance When You Have a Grievance
Give them the same grace we would want ourselves. (Ephesians 4:26)
Also, not listening to gossip or talking about it over and over with other people, as that never helps the situation. (2 Timothy 2:23-25)
Galatians 3:11-13 says we are all different, but we all have equal worth in God’s eyes. The passage goes on to say,
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and
dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness,
and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a
grievance against someone.”
Sounds to me like we should not hold a grudge.
So, What Does a Grudge Really Mean?
A grudge is really just a refusal to forgive someone who has wronged you.
Forgiveness doesn’t depend on the other person apologizing or saying they are sorry. It means we consciously let go of the feelings we have in the pit of our stomachs whenever that person walks into the room. And we pray for that person
instead. (Mark 11:25)
In situations where the person who hurt you hasn’t apologized or even acknowledged she hurt you, you can choose to show her compassion and kindness. (Colossians 3:12-13)
If you’ve done everything you can to restore that relationship, and yet the other person is unwilling to give up her grudge, remember Jesus tells us plainly that our Father’s forgiveness of us will mirror our forgiveness of others. (Luke 14:2)
If that fellow believer who hurt you continues to engage in hurtful behavior, you
should certainly follow Biblical directions for dealing with sinful behavior within the community of believers.
In serious cases of hurt between believers, Matthew 18:15-17 tells us
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge
may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to
listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church,
let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Don’t Wait. Forgive Now.
That sister in Jesus might be your neighbor in Heaven, so it is a good idea to forgive that person now and continue to act in loving kindness from here on, with a desire to have a harmonious relationship.
In short, life is too precious to spend it gnashing your teeth at someone else’s bad behavior, or if they have “hurt our feelings” especially considering that a grudge often hurts you more than the person you’re holding it against.
Switch your focus to Jesus’ peace, restoration, and forgiveness and you will release yourself from the cage that holding a grudge puts you in. Especially during this season of celebration of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Ruth “Reno” Anderson is a Canadian author of Bible studies and women’s adventure novels (partly because she has had a few of her own). Reno, (BTh, MDiv) loves to travel, has visited over 40 countries, and lived in the USA, Canada, and Zambia. She is married to The Faster Pastor, and they live in a small town in western Canada where her husband is Lead Pastor, and Reno teaches Bible studies. She is one of Jesus’ Fierce Everyday Warriors.
She has written a new book entitled “She is Not Different” with co-author, Alexis Brown, about building relationships with people who are different from you. Sounds like they are building Unity in the Body of Christ!
You can check out all of Reno’s cool stuff with these links: