Holding on to Grudges
A grudge: "A strong, continued feeling of hostility or ill will against someone over a real or fancied grievance." (Webster).
Ephesians 4:31 KJV
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking (slander), be put away from you, with all malice:
If we carry a grudge, it means we are unforgiving and unloving. Carrying a grudge will cause us to hold hatred and bitterness in our hearts. Anger, an internal hostility, fuels grudges and puts hatred into action. Grudges, in a Christian's life, is an evidence that the old man is not put off (Colossians 3:8-9). Grudges promote gossip and slander. People that continue to repeat a difficult situation to others are those who hold grudges showing they have neither love nor forgiveness.
So, take a good look around you, does the sight of someone bring bitter feelings to the surface? Do you avoid someone just to keep from having to speak to them? Oh, my! Can you think of others that are not here and you have these same emotions and treat them in this fashion? You need to rid yourself of any grudges you bear while there is time. Holding a grudge robs you of the joy that Christ wants you to possess.
Jesus did not hold a grudge against those who crucified Him. He doesn’t hold a grudge against you now for your sin. God's instructions are given to help you rid yourself of grudges or to prevent them from being carried out. To put off the old man is a picture of stripping away the old filthy garments and putting on the righteousness of Christ, the new man. The renewal of the mind in salvation brings a transformation from the old life to the new (Ephesians 4:22). We are to put off, lay aside or lay down the old man and be renewed in the spirit of our minds portraying a loving, tender heart, forgiving one another.
Lord, forgive me for holding a grudge against anyone and renew my spirit unto love and forgiveness.