Sticking to my organic blogging through this journey I want to discuss and explore a topic that I feel like should possibly come at the end, but the Lord has really been pressing firmly on my heart to share it now. So either I need to hear this or you need to hear this, probably both.
You can not live a grace-filled life while holding a grudge.
I like to think of myself as a forgiving person, and someone who does not hold grudges. But I am also human and therefore not perfect. I have a sliding forgiveness scale, if you hit the low end of the scale, you're forgiven, no second thoughts. If you hit the top end of the scale, I may say or portray you are forgiven, but really you might not be. I know that sounds terrible, but I am keeping it real here.
When I am hurt, like deeply, utterly, grossly hurt, it takes me a while to overcome that hurt. I feel like it takes me longer to overcome it when the person does not apologize, or even worst, when the person is oblivious that they even hurt me. I am not a fake person, I wear my heart on my sleeve, so while I may not act mean or harshly towards you, you will know something is up. And that will happen until we either hash it out, or I overcome the hurt and move on.
So what does all of that have to do with grace?
I can not truly exemplify or show you grace when I am holding a grudge. Now, there are times in your life when someone hurts you directly or indirectly and there is nothing you can do about it. There is no resolution, nor will there ever be one. I have a family member that continually hurts people, like over and over again. We all sadly have had to accept that this person is a hurtful person, and there is nothing we can do but pray for them, and protect our boundaries. Hurt people hurt people. That is especially true in this case. But when I am hurt and hold a grudge against you, I am not only hurting you, I am hurting myself by not acting in a way that Christ would, and I am definitely not showing you grace.
If grace is God's divine assistance he gave to humans, and we were made in God's image, then we need to extend grace to those around us. This isn't a suggestion, it's a commandment from God. When you allow grace to truly take over in your life, others will recognize it.
Grace and grudges are both struggles for me. I need to not be so consumed with what someone did to me, but more how I can extend grace to them. What do they need from me, not what can I get from them, or better what I think I deserve from them.
Grace is such a huge concept, one I can not quite wrap my brain around. I compare myself to God when I try to think in grace-filled terms. But I can't do that, since I am clearly not God, and also because I am a hott mess of sin, and honestly at times I don't deserve his wonderful grace.
But I receive it regardless.
So the next time someone hurts and you want to hold a grudge, don't. Trust me, I know they hurt you, I know it sucks, and I know it's easier to be mad then work through it. Remember, working through it, forgiving, and extending grace is done more for you, not the offender. That person may never ask for forgiveness, that person may never come you to say they are sorry, forgive them anyway. And it may take time, and that's okay. Depending on the offense you may need time to heal, but heal don't dwell, don't stew.
"The law was added so that the trespass might increase.
But where sin increased,
grace increased all the more."
This is a hard one for me friends, and I have a feeling it's a hard one for you all, too. The next time you want to hold a grudge, remember grace had to increase because of our sinfulness, Christ died for you. Forgive and extend grace.