What is a "Grudge"?
We often hear the term "holding a grudge". What is a "grudge", what does it look like, and how does one "hold it"?
"Grudge" is an actual word and it's dictionary meaning is:
a feeling of resentment or ill will over some grievance, or to harbor resentment.
To "hold or carry a grudge" would then mean : holding onto or carrying around a feeling of resentment over some grievance.
In other words, an un-forgiving attitude leading to bitterness. This seems to be a very unfortunate and burdensome way to live.
The word itself even has a negative sound to it. Say it out loud and you will hear "Grrrrr...udge" To me that sounds like the beginning of a growl, "grrrr" and the ending "udge" reminds me of something heavy that won't budge. So this word's meaning and sound are both negative, and it is not really a word that we should want in our vocabulary.
I am quite familiar with the word "grudge" because my family used it quite often while I was growing up. I grew up in a very negative family, where someone was always angry at someone else and so it seemed "grudges" were quite often carried around by my family members. I remember my mom saying " Now... we shouldn't hold a grudge", " He always holds a grudges" or "She's been carrying a grudge for years." My aunt always had a grudge against someone or knew somebody that did.
So, while I was quite familiar with the word, I was not too sure of it's explanation and I really never gave it much thought until today when I heard it used again and decided to examine the word and it's meaning.
A 'grudge" is not an actual physical thing that can be picked up, carried or visibly seen. It is something that is "carried" internally, however, it is real, it is quite heavy, and the effects of carrying it internally can be seen outwardly in our actions toward others and ourselves. It can cause great harm to us and others physically and mentally, and though it is not tangible, it can grow and become bigger and in time it could completely take over our lives.
Our physical bodies reflect a positive or negative thought life, and the grudge, being a negative attitude, will reveal itself in our speech and actions. We will become negative, bitter, un-happy people, our faces will show it, and our bodies will suffer from it.
In doing some further study, I saw that the word grudge is found quite often in the scriptures and we are warned against grudging. (Leviticus 19:18, James 5:9, 1 Peter 4:9) The scriptures refer instead to loving your neighbor as yourself and forgiving others as you have been forgiven by God so as to prevent any bitterness from growing. ( Galatians 5:14, Matthew 6:12, Ephesians 4:31, Hebrews 12:15 )
What we are to do then is be patient with one another and forgiving. When someone hurts us we are not to " hold a grudge" but we are to forgive them and drop the offense. Even if they do not pick it up and acknowledge that they put it on us, we will still be set free because we have let it go, and letting it go, means never going back and picking it up again. We are to walk away from it, leaving it behind and never looking back at it. If we can do that, then we can go forward and not be held back by holding a grudge which will get heavier over time.
When something is done to us that we feel was unjust, we are not to "carry around a grudge" but we are to let it go and so release the burden of it all. It may not be easy, it may take some time, but we need to make an effort to reconciliation. As long as we hold onto that feeling of resentment we will live the offense over and over every day and we will become bitter and un-happy.
Forgiving someone is not condoning what they did to us, but it is the first step in setting us free from the burden of carrying around the offense. Forgiveness will release healing into our lives and keep bitterness from growing.
I never saw the movie, but I am told there was one made called " The Grudge" and that it was a very ugly, horrific image, not something people wanted to be around. Although, it was just a fictitious, horror movie, it sounds like it could very well portray what an actual grudge would look like in reality. Bitterness, resentment and un-forgiveness can build up to be very ugly things in our lives and will cause a negative effect on all our relationships as they are not pretty and not things people enjoy being around.
So, in thinking upon all of this, it just might be a good time to take a good look at ourselves and see if we are harboring any resentments.
If we are, we should resolve to let them go. We should take those grudges right now and get rid of them. Then, make it a point to say " I will not hold a grudge !" and attempt to stick to that in the future.
God can give us the strength to do it and He is very willing to help us if we will come to Him and just ask. ( Isaiah 40:29, Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:13, Matthew 11: 28-30 )
We will truly be happier for having made that choice, physically and mentally. For, if we choose to carry forgiveness in our hearts, there will be no room for any grudges to burden us down, and we will be able to walk in freedom to live joyful, pleasant lives.
I would appreciate your feedback on this article. Did it help you in some way, do you have questions on it, would you like to discuss it further?
Post a Comment or Email me and let me know what you think.
( Links are posted below for all scripture references---just click to read each verse. )
Links to Scripture References
- Leviticus 19:18
- James 5:9
- 1 Peter 4:9
- Galatians 5:14
- Matthew 6:12
- Ephesians 4:31
- Hebrews 12:15
- Isaiah 40:29
- Isaiah 41:10
- Philippians 4:13
- Matthew 11:28, 29, 30