A grudge against another human being is certainly one of the most dangerously heavy burdens the human spirit can carry. Even if the grievance was absolutely, undeniably wrong and damaging, the one who continues to carry the rancor suffers as much, or more than the perpetrator. There is no winning peace for the grudge-bearer except to truly forgive and forget, regardless of the future behavior of the aggressor. Carrying a grudge puts heavy black lines about a portion of memory and taints all of life, perhaps even growing heavier every year.
On the other hand, to truly forgive and forget sets the one harmed totally free from any desire to take vengeance which only sets the stage for endless unhappiness. He can walk away from the situation feeling wholesome and free, and hopefully spur an improved attitude in his antagonist. No harm can ever come on either side from forgiving in good faith. As our Lord was nailed to the cross, He asked for forgiveness for the ones driving the nails because, as He said, “They know not what they do.” No ugly revenge was mentioned.
Families are split asunder over unimportant (or important!) issues and never mended until one or the other goes home to meet His Maker. Then it’s way too late. Love in family gatherings and mutual help through life have past and gone. Grudge-bearing is a terrible destroyer of family togetherness. What a grisly price to pay for a cross word, a misunderstanding that festered into an unintended/unimportant grievance years ago.
If we have anyone, anything or any situation that stands between us and loving one another, we ought to take every step we can to resolve it, at least on our part, as quickly as possible before it becomes too late for resolution. The Second Commandment packs a powerful wallop, and takes a heavy toll when disobeyed.
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