Let It Go

James 5:9 KJV

Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

How are you at holding grudges?  Do you old onto things other people may do to you, or say to you?  Do these wrongs nag at you throughout the day, causing you to stew and fret over them?  Do you forgive those who have angered you quickly, or do yo hold onto anger for a long time, or even just a little time?  If any of these things describe you, things need to change.

The word grudge here is the Greek word “stenazo” which means to groan, express grief, anger or desire.  It is mostly interpreted groan, or sigh.  I’m sure you have seen people who will sigh deeply when they are upset about something, or get to a point in a heated conversation that they just sigh and give up.  That is the idea here.  The longer definition says “to groan because of pressure of being exerted forward (like the forward pressure of childbirth); (figuratively) to feel pressure from what is coming on”.

Holding any kind of a grudge, or complaining to others about what someone has done to you, will eat you alive.  James says “lest you be condemned”.  God does not condemn us – ever.  Jesus said, in John 3:17 ( a verse we often forget about because of what comes before it) “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”   The condemnation does not come from God, it actually grows inside us in the form of bitterness, which can be our worst enemy.  Hebrews 12:14-15 says Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”  Do you see how this relates to our text?

Once a root of bitterness sets in, it will grow until forgiveness is given from the heart to the one that you are holding the grudge against.  This shows you why forgiveness is so essential to our Christian walk.  If we do not forgive, bitterness is not far behind.  Bitterness will eat at your soul and poison your mind.  The longer you allow that bitterness to  stay, the harder it gets to forgive.  Eventually, you forget what the original source of the grudge is, and hatred sets in for the person.  Hatred – instead of the love we should have for one another.

Look again at the Hebrew excerpt above, because it shows us how to avoid bitterness.  Follow peace with all men and don’t fail of the grace of God.  To not fail of the grace of God means to be sure we are giving grace freely to all men.  Giving grace is forgiving others.  Giving grace is allowing room for people to make mistakes and then not holding it against them.  Does Christ hold our mistakes against us? NO.  Does He forgive us? YES. Now it’s our turn to display that kind of grace instead of holding grudges.

The judge standing at the door tells me that we better get those grudges out of our system or we will be judged for our forgiveness toward others.  No one tells us this truth better than Jesus did.   Matt 6:15 “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Jesus never made idle threats.  He meant what He said, every time.  We have glossed over this truth to justify out lack of forgiveness too long.  That is simply pride.  Thinking we can ignore such an explicit statement and escape the final judge is us thinking we know better than God.  

Forgiveness causes us to humble ourselves, and we don’t want to do that.  I am not talking about saying “I’m sorry” and walking away. That is not what Jesus is saying either.  We have replaced God’s desire with our own human statement of remorse.  Asking forgiveness is much more difficult.  We are opening ourselves up to another person and asking them to take a bold step.  We are admitting our wrongdoing and asking them to acknowledge that.  Then we are asking them to put it behind them as well.  This is a bold thing to do, and at the same time it is the ultimate act of humility.   

Do you remember the movie from the 70’s entitled “Love Story”?   A famous line from that movie was “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”.  In a way, that is true.  Love will ask for forgiveness, not settle for I’m sorry.  I know that just saying I’m sorry I sinned to God is not repenting.  I must ask forgiveness, and He promises to give it if I ask with my whole being.  I pray that all who read this will stop replacing “Please forgive me” with “I’m sorry” from now on 

Be blessed! 

 

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7 thoughts on “Let It Go

  1. working4christtwo

    Hi Pete,

    Forgiveness is one of the essential Keys to attaining Heaven.

    This is so important that it is included in the Lord’s prayer; with a threat & a promise: lord forgive us our trasspasses only to the degree that we forgive all others” “FORGIVE US OUR TRANSPASSES AS WE FORIGE OTHERS”

    God is willing , even anxious to forgive US for every infraction; ONLY if we forgive all others that we hold a grudge against. HIDDEN in this petition is that forgiveness begins “at home.”

    God has Blessed me with the ability to easily forgive others; a GREAT and abiding gift; but I still struggle to forgive myself; and THAT is exactly what God expects each of us to do;. “Love thy neighbor as THYSELF”

    With God’s help I’ll continue to work on it.

    Continued Blessings my friend Pete
    Patrick

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Pete Post author

      Thanks for the great comment. Forgiving your self is difficult at times, but i know God has forgiven me and that enables me to forgive myself as well. He is so merciful!
      Be blessed

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  2. SR

    Hey Pete,

    Wonderful post! So informative and I love the explanation at the end of saying “I am sorry,” and asking for “forgiveness.” That is so true.

    “The root of bitterness begins to grow.” Amen! I had that happen to me one time for three years! During those years I prayed and prayed I could forgive that person and it finally came. The last time I saw this person, he placed his arm around me and hugged me. You know it was okay I knew it was over, bc I accepted the hug. We actually stood there for a few moments and shared small talk with laughter.

    “To not fail the grace of God means we are giving grace freely to all men.” Love it! I have never in my life with God thought about failing His grace. I have thought about failing Him a lot, but never one of His attributes. I am so thankful to you for pointing that out.

    This also made me think about when Jesus was hanging on the Cross, suffering and dying and said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” You know Pete sometimes when someone hurts us, that is it all in a hand basket. They do not even realize how bad they have hurt you, bc instead of saying something simple to them like, “That really hurt my feelings,” it is so much easier to swell up like a toad, and spit and foam at the mouth like a rabid dog.

    Much to think about here as always. Thank you and God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

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