Bob Tamasy: Keep Your Grudge In The Garage

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Sometime ago, someone asked a country bumpkin if he had a grudge. “Sure do!” he replied with pride. “It’s big ‘nuf fer two cars, ‘cept that’s where I keep my four-wheeler and lawn tractor.”

Garage, “grudge.” Same thing, right? Unfortunately, no. I like having a garage, especially since I have an aversion to getting into an icy car that’s been sitting out in the freezing cold all night. Not my favorite way of “chillin’ out.” But having a grudge – better yet, nursing one – rarely, if ever, has any positive value.

Most of us know what it is to hold onto a grudge. Perhaps someone stung us with harsh words, or has treated us disrespectfully. When we’ve been wronged at work, we’re tempted to harbor a grudge for the offense. Maybe a neighbor has done or said something particularly annoying, maybe more than once. Why not hold a grudge against them for that? In sports, it’s common for rival teams to hold grudges against each other, attitudes that foment into hatred and hostility.

Even in our churches, individuals or families refuse to speak to one another for some reason. Jesus said, A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). But apparently some people don’t think that applies to circumstances that justify mutual antagonism.

That’s not to minimize the emotional and relationship impact of being wronged. Wounds inflicted by others, whether by people close to us or strangers, are often slow to heal. Resentment and anger are normal responses to being hurt. However, clinging to a grudge and refusing to release it can do much harm – even to ourselves.

On his radio program a while ago, Dr. David Jeremiah suggested there are four different things to do with a grudge: Curse it. Rehearse it. Nurse it. Or reverse it. And we’ve probably done each of these at one time or another.

We curse a grudge every time we see the offending party and feel a renewed surge of negative emotions. We rehearse it by reminding ourselves of the harm done, what happened, when it happened and by whom, and how it felt. We nurse it by treating the grudge as some cherished possession, refusing to let it go for fear the wrong won’t somehow be avenged.

Or we can reverse it, recognizing that hanging onto a grudge typically brings more harm to ourselves than to the one we feel is deserving of our wrath. In presenting His model prayer – what we know as “the Lord’s Prayer” – Jesus instructed us to ask God to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12).

He also said, a few verses later, For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours” (Matthew 6:14-15).

When I read those words, I want to respond, “But Lord, You don’t understand. After what they did (or said) to me, how can I offer forgiveness?” Then I remember Jesus on the cross, enduring the most cruel, excruciating form of execution, and yet being able to say of His executioners, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).

In harboring ill will toward those who have offended or harmed us, our behavior mirrors theirs. As Dr. Jeremiah said, “Our enemy overcomes us when we become like our enemy.”

But where’s the vengeance, the making amends, if we willfully relinquish our “right” to harbor what seem to be well-deserved grudges? First of all, God declared, “Vengeance is mine” (Hebrews 10:30). Before we can utter our collective, “Yeah, but…”, we read about those to whom this admonition was originally addressed:

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions [in heaven]” (Hebrews 10:32-34).

If anyone had justifiable cause to nurse a grudge, it was those folks. But God insisted He alone had the right to judge, and avenge if necessary.

There’s one more reason for being willing to release grudges, even toward those who make no secret of their malice toward us. King Solomon made this startling observation: If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21-22).

Some have said, “Don’t get mad. Get even.” But as followers of Christ, we have a third option: Get free. We don’t have to remain in bondage to destructive feelings; we can release them and entrust them to our just and faithful God.

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Bob Tamasy: Reasons For Not Losing Heart

"Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

St. Timothy's Church Presents Jazz Vespers Service On Jan. 27


Do you ever have a day, even for a fleeting moment, when you wake up and think, “I’m not getting out of bed today”? You’re tempted to pull the covers over your head and pretend, like an ostrich ... (click for more)

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" in the 10 a.m. service on Sunday. ... (click for more)

For the thirteenth year, a jazz vespers service will be held at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, this year on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at 5 p.m. Kathy Tugman and the David Walters Trio will perform, ... (click for more)


Church

Bob Tamasy: Reasons For Not Losing Heart

Do you ever have a day, even for a fleeting moment, when you wake up and think, “I’m not getting out of bed today”? You’re tempted to pull the covers over your head and pretend, like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, that if you can’t see the world, the world can’t see you. Maybe you made the mistake of watching the evening news before going to bed, absorbing the daily ... (click for more)

"Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" in the 10 a.m. service on Sunday. Pastor Mitch McClure will lead the congregation in a time of worship, and prayer on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School classes are available for all age groups. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Angry City Council Wants Answers On Incident Caught On Video Of Man Being Beaten By City Police Officer; Asks DA For Independent Probe

Angry City Council members said they want answers on an incident caught on camera of a Chattanooga Police officer shown beating a man after a traffic stop. The council on Tuesday night voted to ask District Attorney Neal Pinkston to carry out an independent investigation of the incident from last March. Councilman Russell Gilbert said, "I want to see a change in our ... (click for more)

"Financial Predator" Gets 43-Year Prison Sentence In Dalton

Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris on Tuesday sentenced Cara Ann Williams (also known as Kaesarea Williams) to serve a total of 43 years without the possibility of parole on 16 total counts including aggravated identity fraud, forgery, financial transaction card theft and false statements. The sentence will run concurrent with a five-year no parole sentenced ordered by Judge ... (click for more)

Opinion

Fake News Strikes Again And Again

Two major stories exploded across the headlines this past week which confirm my opinion that the mainstream media (MSM) is biased, incompetent, and can seldom be trusted to impart the news fairly and accurately. The first instance was the BuzzFeed story regarding Michael Cohen and how he allegedly lied on President Trump's behalf to Congress. Virtually all of the big media outlets ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Walmart vs 535 Morons

There is an anonymous paper on the Internet that tells how Walmart could do a better job running America instead of the pompous flops and duds we send to Washington. Please try to connect the dots on Walmart’s 1.6 million employees and the obscene profits that they make versus our 535 members of Congress who blow through money while “WallyWorld” churns out an average of $20-thousand ... (click for more)