NKJV - 13 Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
First, I would follow the advice of Paul as contained in the passage cited by the question, by remembering how much God has forgiven (and forgotten) about my own conduct for Jesus' sake. (God's perspective on the matter is provided by Jesus' parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35), whose master forgave him a tremendous debt after the servant had begged him for mercy, but who then went out and had another fellow servant thrown into prison because the fellow servant owed him a debt that was a pittance by comparison. In addition, Jesus indicated in that parable that, if we do not forgive others their trespasses, God will not forgive the trespasses that we commit.) I would also follow the advice of C. S. Lewis on how to exhibit Christian love someone toward whom we did not have particularly loving feelings or emotions. Lewis advised asking ourselves, "How would I act toward this person if I DID love him?", and then act that way. Over time, we will find that our feelings will follow our actions. Also, try separating feelings about the person's actions from the person himself or herself. Finally, has the questioner tried viewing the situation from the other person's perspective, or has the questioner tried actually talking to the person toward whom he or she holds a grudge? The other person may be entirely unaware of the questioner's feelings, as well as how those feelings are related to something that he or she did.
I humbly submit that this question is of much value in this age and season, especially when so many people are offended over such small life matters. (Matthew 24:4; Mark 13:5) The bait of Satan is that you harden your heart against person X first and second eventually causing a void with God the longer you hold it. Perhaps even blaming HIM for letting the transgression happen in the first place! (Mark 13:12) From my own experience in such matters, the releasing of person X by you is for your benefit; think selfishly if you need to start any releasing program. If you do not release, you become a willing captive in this time capsule, as you pursue that pound of flesh. And the hidden danger is that this desire may become greater than anything else in your very short stage time life! (Mark 13:23) By releasing person X you are removing them as a focal point within your daily life and asking God for help, in this it's okay to be very loud or vocal as He understands trust me. Upon your interest release God is now free to step in fighting your battle as scripture tells us. The new equation becomes God + unrepentant sinner X = heartbreak hotel in Judgment City. "The wages of sin is death" the Hebrew word wages here means that which is owed and paid daily to a hired workman. And a workman can only get paid, then they are released for the day. “He who thinks reasonably must think morally.” ~C.S. "Jack" Lewis In the Lord's freedom........warrior on
We know what the Bible says about grudges. The question was how to avoid holding grudges. What works for me, most of the time, is to try and put it into perspective. An incident with another is just a snap shot of one moment in time. Example; a family member through marriage borrowed $500 from me and never paid it back. I would get angry every time I saw him. My wife said to forget about it. I said, "Forget about $500? Not likely." She said, "Let's put it in perspective. You spend that much on golf balls every year. You spent 3 times as much for golf clubs every couple years. You spend that much on your grandchildren’s toys every Christmas." As I thought about it, I realized that she was right. I forgot About it and my life is a lot happier. In fact, it made everyone’s life happier. So I would suggest not to put more importance on something that doesn't deserve it. I realize that this can be very, very difficult sometimes and there are times when we fail. But give it a try.
We hold grudges because we've been hurt. We want to hurt the other person back and get our revenge. Maybe our pride has been wounded or our self-worth has been bruised - insulted, mocked, ridiculed, belittled, ignored, unappreciated, overlooked, criticised, cheated, tricked, deceived. This is the way of the world. But Jesus taught us a revolutionary new way of life in his kingdom. As the referenced verse says, “We forgive one another when we have complaints against each other". The disciples asked Jesus about this issue when Peter asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times." The disciples responded, "Increase our faith!" (Matthew 18:21-22; Luke 17:4-5). Every time someone sins against us it spoils, pollutes, and corrupts the new spiritual life that Jesus gave us. Every time we hold a grudge we allow the corruption to continue every day, diminishing the abundant life that Jesus has provided. Forgiveness is an act of our will. We choose to forgive the other person because God chose to forgive us in response to our faith in Jesus. Each time we forgive we stop the corruption from impacting our life. But we still face the issue of the "hurt" that was caused by the sin. It is the Holy Spirit's job to heal the hurt. We receive our healing as we "pray for the person who hurt us" and as we "demonstrate loving-kindness to the person who hurt us". Pray Jesus said "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44). "Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:28) So, what do we pray for? For unbelievers, we can pray for their salvation. For believers, we can pray they would experience an intimate loving relationship with God. Lovingkindness Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." (Luke 6:27). Wisdom said, "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In do this, you will heap burning coals on his head., and the Lord will reward you." (Proverbs 25:21-22). Apostle Paul said, "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17-21). We choose to forgive, we choose to pray and we choose to be kind. In response to our faithfulness, God chooses to cleanse, heal and restore the abundant life that Jesus purchased for us.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.