I've always been one to hold a grudge. I remember things done to me by others and I hold on tight to those memories, and the anger, and yes, even the hatred. From my mother and ex-stepmother to my ex-husband and former friend, to my neighbors down the street, I have taken pride in my "strength of character" that never let me forget a wrong done to me.
And just who does that hurt, anyways? As Rose put it to me yesterday, does it bother THEM? Do they care? Do they even notice?
Which made me really think about this for the first time. And the answer is no, they don't care. No, it doesn't bother them. No, they don't notice. The only one losing sleep over this, the only one developing ulcers, the only one arguing with her husband because she's in such a foul mood over these slights and hurts is ME.
By holding on to the anger and hate, I'm only hurting me, and those who love me. Those who have hurt me? They don't care how I feel, they've made that infinitely clear over the years. They do what they do, and then they move on in their lives. I'm the one still dwelling on the hurt inflicted, weeks, years, DECADES after the fact.
I am not going to do it ANY MORE. If somebody hurts me, I can make the choice to forgive them for being a jerk, forget it, and move on. Does that mean I have to let the person who hurts me back into my life to hurt me more? No, I don't believe that it does. But I don't have to hate and hate and wish horrible fates on them and dwell on the pain they've caused me and make myself physically and mentally ill with it all.
Rose gave me this scripture:
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent
prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16!
So. Here's my gameplan.
When I'm feeling that old stubborn grudgeholding part of me rear its very ugly head, I will talk to one of my trusted brothers or sisters in faith, and ask them to pray with me. I'll pray for the ability to let it go and leave it all to God, I'll pray to be able to forgive and forget.. and I'll pray God forgives ME for holding that anger and hatred in my own heart.
Gerda gave me lots of good scriptures to study on the same topic, and David, well, he constantly reminds me that Jesus forgave ME of so much more, and I should strive to forgive others.
I thank you for giving me such strong Christian brothers and sisters to help me learn about You and Your plan for me.
Please give me the strength of will to learn to forgive those who have hurt me so deeply. Help me to see that they are no worse and no better than I am. Help me to recognize that whatever they may have done to me, I have done at least as badly to others and I am in no position to judge.
Help me, Lord, to forgive "seventy times seven", to turn the other cheek, and to be the kind of Christian woman that You and I want so badly for me to be.
In Jesus' name I pray,