“Don’t hold grudges. On the other hand, it’s wrong not to correct someone who needs correcting. Stop being angry and don’t try to take revenge. I am the Lord, and I command you to love others as much as you love yourself.”- Leviticus 19:17-18 CEV
In my 15 years of ministry, I have discovered one of the most common issues people have is letting go of past hurts. Actually, not only not letting go, but transferring them on to others who have not had any opportunity to prove whether or not they will be like the person before.
I have heard women and men say, “I have sworn off dating because of this (fill in the experience)” or congregants saying, “I just can’t get close to this person because the last person in that position did (fill in the blank)”.
I have seen people hold grudges against someone and then hold a grudge against someone who knew the person they were holding the grudge against in the first place. It is just as confusing to me as that sentence was to read.
Why do we do this? Why do we allow our past hurts to hinder our future relationships, friendships, worship experience, etc.? There is so much more damage done to us, than to those we choose to be angry with for no reason.
Here is a list of 3 reasons it costs you more to transfer your anger, hurt, frustration, and/or pain on to others:
1) YOU MISS AN OPPORTUNITY: Due to your inability to move past your issue, you might miss an opportunity to love again, serve sincerely, gain a new friendship, or better yet- discover healing God might be trying to provide through the new person in your life.You are choosing to miss out, which makes you more angry and ends up hurting your spirit and emotions even more.
2) YOUR WORSHIP IS HINDERED: I have been in this situation before. I have had people who have hurt me or someone I loved and I could not focus on worshiping or praising God because I saw the person(s) in the same service. Then, I found myself passing judgment on those who were talking to the person because, you know, “If they only knew how that person really is, they wouldn’t be around them! Unless, they’re just like them?! Well, I know who I’m not talking to again!” Yeah, that happened. An inner dialogue hat screwed up my entire focus on Jesus and the very people He called me to love. If I can’t stop focusing on my anger, then I am putting myself before God, and we all know that doesn’t end well. Refocus your thinking and turn to Jesus so He can guide you to forgiveness.
3) YOUR DEMEANOR CHANGES: Have you ever seen someone who has held onto their baggage for too long? Their face droops. Their eyes become tired and angry. They become someone that sucks the air out of the room. They could have been a super positive person at one point in time, but throughout the days, weeks, months, or years of holding on to their junk, they have become someone you avoid. We want people to want to talk to us. We want people to look forward to us being around. If you don’t, then let the anger fester within and allow people to fade out of your life. You will soon find your body will wilt as your spirit begins to rot. Allow yourself to heal and don’t place your junk on others so they know you are a person striving to live, just like they are.
May we choose to heal. If we can’t do it on our own, may we seek help. May we ignore Satan’s bidding to shut-down and close ourselves up from others and strive to live the life Christ beckons us to live, loving our neighbor as ourselves and letting go of petty issues that in the long run hinder us from growing in Jesus.
Seek Christ’s healing in order to restore yourself and your relationships.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: Are You Willing To Let Go?