THE DEADLY RESULTS OF BEARING ANY GRUDGE

January 12, 2018

So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” (Genesis 27:41)

The story of Jacob and Esau is classic and informative. Jacob stole both Esau's birthright and blessing. The latter he did through outright, planned deception, aided by his mother. When Esau discovered this, he was furious. Many would say, rightly so.

THE DYNAMICS OF ANGER

Notice the immediate response of anger is always REVENGE. If you are hurt, or perceive that you have been hurt by someone, you always want them to hurt. You feel you deserve this vindication and they deserve the punishment.

The desire of Esau? He wanted to kill Jacob.

We may think, ""Well, at least I've never wanted to murder someone. I'm fine in my anger. I can handle this."" But Jesus helped us see the reality in the Sermon on the Mount. He said that anger is just like murder. When you get angry and want revenge and don't deal with it, you will always try to destroy them whether you think so or not (Matthew 5:21-24).

Murder is merely one of the tools in getting revenge. We can “murder” someone by gossip and slander, withdrawal and disassociation, manipulating and rejoicing in their failure, etc. There are many faces to revenge.

THE ENDGAME OF HARBORED HURT

The tragedy is, this hurts us more than them. If we harbor hurt it will turn to unforgiveness, and unforgiveness to bitterness. A bitter spirit will always spring up, always cause trouble, and always defile those around us. Even those we most dearly love (Hebrews 12:15).

I've dealt with hundreds of bitter people in my life. It's never pretty. Some are plagued with bitterness, even though the one who hurt them is long dead and gone. They are still letting someone in their past hold the keys to their happiness and rest.

There's only one answer to a grudge: forgive. And this is my responsibility, as a choice of my will, by faith, for the glory of God. It's made possible by the grace of God and is our constant challenge and great opportunity. Any follower of Christ has the power within them to forgive at any moment. We may not want to or may not know how, but we can forgive anyone of anything.

We're never more like Jesus than when we forgive. And never more like Satan than when we seek revenge.

Lord, is there any anger harbored in my heart? Any hurt that is lodged there towards anyone? Anyone that I rejoice in their failure, or delight in their hurt? Please show me any unforgiveness and give me the grace to forgive them, fully and completely—to release them from my courtroom to the courtroom of heaven. Thank You that there is a path—always—to avoid unforgiveness and in its place be filled with the love of God, and thus bring peace to my heart and a undeniable witness to a watching world.

 *If you are suffering from a harbored grudge or know someone who is, I have a little booklet that we have put in the hands of tens of thousands of people that has seemed to help many. ""Healing the Harbored Hurts of our Heart"" can be found at www.billelliff.org in the online store.





Also in Graceful Truth

THE GOAL OF OUR INSTRUCTION
THE GOAL OF OUR INSTRUCTION

February 22, 2024

It is our great task and highest privilege as followers of Christ to teach others what we know of Christ. If you have come to Him, your calling is to grow in Him and then share that truth with others.

Continue Reading

THE REFRESHMENT OF PLEASANT WORDS
THE REFRESHMENT OF PLEASANT WORDS

February 16, 2024

Some people consistently speak "pleasant words." This doesn't mean they're always gentle words or not strong people. But their words are kind, gracious, cheerful, and delightful to hear. Pleasant words.

Continue Reading

OVERCOMING FEAR
OVERCOMING FEAR

February 15, 2024

Paul was afraid as he ministered in the city of Corinth. The reason we can believe this is because Jesus doesn't waste words. He comes to him in Acts 18 with an encouragement that addresses his fear.

Continue Reading