I don’t know about you, but a lot of people have made me angry. I’m not talking about just being upset with them for a little while—I mean being angry to the point of almost hating them.
Yeah, I’ve heard you should forgive and forget, but quite honestly, I never thought that was realistic. Maybe it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also one of the most difficult.
We shouldn’t harbor resentment, and I don’t need a pastor or a psychologist to tell me that. But for those who do, here’s an article from a bona fide psychologist that talks all about it.
For years, I stayed angry at people for doing me wrong. Some were ex-girlfriends, many of whom I believed held me directly responsible for the bad things everyone else had done to them. Others were former employers, who made me feel stupid, insignificant, and incapable of doing my job when in fact, I was doing it quite well. I figured they just didn’t want to pay me more money.
I made a hobby out of collecting grudges, but as time went on, found myself being more frustrated than ever. I started seeing the worst in people long before seeing any good in them, and often closed myself off. As far as I was concerned, I was just being cautious.
Sometimes, I decided I was going to “get them before they could get me.”
That didn’t work out too well. My trust issues became obvious, and people just thought I had a bad attitude. After a while, they ignored my opinion completely.
But, one day, after committing my life to Christ, God showed up to deal with me and my grudges.
I was talking to a friend who was angry at someone and had no intention of forgiving that person. They kept ranting and told me they couldn’t forgive them because they didn’t want to let them off the hook.
Without thinking, I looked at my friend and said,
“Forgiving them doesn’t mean what they did was okay.”
I didn’t hear what my friend said after that because I was repeating those words to myself.
I never thought of it that way before. I began thinking about all the people I held grudges against and wondered why I was holding on to them. I was looking at it the wrong way. I thought that forgiving them was the same as letting them off the hook.
This is one of those perspectives I would never have gotten without Christ. And though I had read all the passages about forgiveness before, the seed never took root.
We would all like to get an apology when someone wrongs us, but won’t always get one. Don’t wait for it, either. You would most likely be wasting precious time.
Don’t waste your life staying angry with people who won’t apologize. Half of them care too afraid to face you and the other half don’t care.
Remember, forgiving someone doesn’t mean what they did was okay. And take it from me, holding grudges steals one of the most important things a person can have.
No grudge is worth losing that.