Wednesday, March 16, 2016

To the One Who Can't Let IT Go

Yesterday, I wrote about letting go… letting go of whatever it is that keeps you from God. You can read about it here

Today, I want to talk about letting go of something very specific: grudges. A grudge is a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury. Do you have a grudge you're holding onto? Yeah, you do. You know you do. So, hey you. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you. The one who just can't let it go. No matter how hard you try {or maybe you're not trying at all}, that grudge has taken root in your heart and it's invading every nook and cranny. I hear ya. It's hard. We all have grudges we hold on to. I've been holding on to 7. You heard me. SEVEN! So hey, I'm a Christian blogger and I have just as much garbage in my heart as you do. It wasn't until I just typed it out that I felt the weight of this ridiculousness. Make a list of who you're holding grudges against. It'll probably be more than you think. It's bitter, and it's ugly. But more than anything, it's just pointless. 

Whether it's someone that wronged us, someone that threw us under the bus, someone that broke our heart, someone who was supposed to be a friend, someone who ripped our life to shreds, or… you know what? It doesn't really matter what happened or how... We tuck this bitter that was planted in us deep inside. We nurture it, we water it, and we let it grow. We encourage it to grow. We can't uproot it and throw it out because that thing hurt us too much, it cut too deep, or they're not sorry. So we hang on. We carry that pain everywhere. 

But here's the thing: hanging on to the pain also means hanging on to the bitterness. And that bitterness is rotten. That rot will rot you from the inside out. You can't enjoy the fullness and wonder of today if you're dwelling on the pain from yesterday. You cannot. Listen to the girl tethered to the weight of seven grudges; she knows what she speaks. 

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil speaking be taken away from you, with all malice, and be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God has forgiven you in Christ." -Ephesians 4:31-32

Get it? The good book tells us to let go of those feelings. We, as Christians have been specifically tasked with making peace with every single person who has wronged us, hurt us, talked trash about us, broken our heart, or done something terrible to us. We are instructed to look forward and to stop looking back. We can't walk forward with God {and his peace} if we keep walking back to have visits with the turmoil of the past. You can't fully nurture your relationship with Jesus if you're still nurturing your grudge like a little pet. You can't do both, I assure you.

When someone hurts us, we are instructed to forgive them as Christ forgave us. What does forgiveness mean? It means wishing them well despite what harm they brought you. The only way I've found to do this is to pray for them more than you pray for yourself. Sometimes I have withheld well wishes from those who've hurt me simply because I feel they don't deserve it. Sometimes I have refused to pray for those who've hurt me because I'm afraid of what that means. Real talk: I don't like the idea of them flourishing after they've cut me to the core. I've decided that it's just not up to me. Being a scorekeeper for the ones who have wronged me {or others I love} has been far more painful and exhausting than what they've done. 

Don't be like me. Don't keep score. Don't you do it. 

"Hate starts fights, but love covers all sins." -Proverbs 10:12

Let kindness and gentleness flow out of you to cover everyone, especially those who've hurt you. Because wanting to hurt them back is only hurting you, sweet one. Let it go. Let go of that grudge, let go of that hate, let go of the bitterness. The world encourages us to lash back at those who hurt us, to hate them. But the word encourages us to let it go so that the burden of carrying those heavy grudges won't wear you down. God wants us to be free, so set yourself free from the pain. Uproot every bitter seed that's been planted in you and burn it. The enemy wants you to hang on to them, he wants you to be overcome with hatred and self destruction, but you have the power to find freedom. You can free yourself, sweet one, but only by letting go. So pull that bitterness up by the roots and run free. Don't let yourself be held captive not one more minute. You've hurt long enough. It's time to thrive. 

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