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Goodbye Grudge
It’s been so long ago that I can’t even remember the offense. My younger brother had done something that upset me. He must have known it was wrong because I remember him racing out the front door before my calls for, “MOM!” were answered.

I ran to the door myself and called out, “Davey, I’ll forgive you for what you just did, but I’ll NEVER forget it!” Not much of a forgiveness statement, was it?

Holding a grudge toward someone who said or did something wrong to you can be like carrying a bag of heavy stones on your back. It’s always there. You may try and forget about it for a day or two, but then you start to feel the weight again.

Holding a grudge can actually be bad for your health, according to Hope College researchers. In a nationwide Gallop Poll, 94 percent of participants admitted that forgiveness is important. Yet only 48 percent said that forgiveness is something they try to practice on a regular basis.

Stress Responses

Charlotte Witvliet, lead professor of the study writes: “When people think about their offenders in unforgiving ways, they tend to experience stronger negative emotions and greater [physiological] stress responses. In contrast, when these same people think about their offenders in more forgiving ways, they tend to experience greater positive emotion, greater perceived control, and less potent negative emotion and stress in the short term.”1

There are some grudges that may take the help of a professional to overcome. But for the day-to-day grudges that most of us hold onto, we need to just let them go. We need to realize that life is too short, that it’s not worth harming our health, and that the other person needs our forgiveness as much as we need to give it.

When tempted to hold a grudge, think of the many times that you have gone to God and asked for forgiveness. And what did He do? He gave you immediate forgiveness—and then He chose to forget the offense! Remember that gift of forgiveness you’ve been given, and tell your grudge goodbye.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20000225/holding-a-grudge-can-be-bad-for-your-health

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