Am I the kind of person who holds a grudge?

Am I the kind of person who holds a grudge?

A Story by Precious Prodigal

July 15, 2013: Please “Share” this link to a new Precious Prodigal Blog Post:


Am I the kind of person who holds a grudge?

Micah 6:8  “…what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy…”

1 Cor 13:5 “[Love]…is not irritable or resentful.” (NEV)

Although I’m usually a cheerful, optimistic person, I recently had a major case of the McGrumps that lasted several days. I was so irritable that I was trying everyone’s patience…even that of my husband Harry, who is the most patient person I know. Good gracious! Even my cat was about ready to put her adoption application in at the animal shelter. I’d like to say I didn’t know what was causing it. However, along with that (usually) sunny disposition, I also have an incredibly good and sometime selective memory. And that was part of the problem.

Someone I love had hurt and disappointed me, and not for the first time. I was furious at first, and then the heat of that anger went on simmer and developed into a resentful heart. While that works great to make spaghetti sauce sweet and rich, it didn’t work as well with my disposition. I was sour, discontented, and bitter...not to mention grouchy. If you love a prodigal, you probably know exactly what I mean.

I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about it. And the more I thought about it, the more I remembered the multiple times this person had hurt and disappointed me in the past. I may have started with the hurt from that day. However, it didn’t take long before I was remembering the hurt from last month, last year and, finally, to some things that happened as far back as 25 years ago. The more I thought about it, the worse I felt; and the worse I felt, the more I thought about it. I couldn’t seem to break the cycle, and I was miserable.

When I was finally tired enough of feeling awful, I talked to a no-nonsense friend, who helped me to see and to own my part. Wait a minute! I wasn’t the one who had caused that hurt. That’s absolutely true, but I am the one who was suffering. I was also the only one who could do anything about it, and I absolutely did need to do something about it. Not only was I miserable, but I also wasn’t “loving mercy,” which is what God requires of me.

Loving mercy means I won’t let the things people do cause me to be irritable or resentful. (1 Cor 13:5) But that word resentful isn’t as clear as it could be. A more literal translation from the Greek is that love “does not count up wrongdoing.” Ouch. Could it be that I’ve been counting up the hurts for 25 years and stubbornly refusing to give them up and stop keeping score? No wonder I was miserable…no wonder you are.

If every time our prodigals do something that hurts us, we begin to rehash every other thing they ever did going back 25 years, we shouldn’t be surprised if we develop a case of the McGrumps. The answer, of course, is to ask God to take it and then to “Let. It. Go.” Easier said than done? Yes, indeed. But it's possible, or God would not have required it.

Challenge for Today: Are you nursing resentment? Can you, just for today, ask God to help you let it go?

© 2013 Precious Prodigal

Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
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