Friday, March 27, 2015

The Grudge Match

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32, KJV)

There is really only one match for a grudge: Forgiveness.

It's easy to hold a grudge, for a while at least. You know how it goes. We get hurt, real or imagined (sometimes the imagined feels worse and hurts longer), and if we hang onto it long enough a grudge will form. After a while, you're not only talking about the "instigator", but you're ducking down aisles in Walmart and Sobey's to avoid having to even see them and say hello.

Too many people let a grudge form and hang on because forgiveness is never about who is right and who is wrong. Mark Twain said, "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." We don't have to be right, but we have no right to be bitter either.

Mark Twain again: "Being bitter is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." As the saying goes, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

So forgive. Say it out loud. Tell God... and the one you're forgiving if it's appropriate. It's without doubt one of the most Christian responses we can ever make and is withheld to our own detriment.

Go ahead. Put Forgiveness in the ring with The Grudge. You'll see that The Grudge has finally met it's match.

... and You'll Grow, Grow, Grow...

2 Peter 1:5-8
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am short. Yup... 5'4" standing "straight up, shoulders back, neck stretched, head high".

I'll be honest, there were days when it bothered me. Back in the "good ole days" when all my friends went soaring past me in the growth department. It helped the day I realized it wasn't my fault. It wasn't my tall friends fault either. Nor was it a result of too many cheeseburgers or too much coffee (which Grampy Harrison always said would "stunt my growth"). It was simply a factor beyond my control.

Spiritually, however, growth is a very different story. We ARE in control of our spiritual man. His health. His strength. His resilience. His self-discipline. That's on us.

I've heard from those people who "couldn't grow because of..." whatever. You can provide the "whatever" (or the whoever). The truth is, nobody can MAKE me grow... and nobody can STOP me from growing. I control my thoughts, my heart and my mind. I can offer them to God anytime that I wish. Or I can kick Him out of the process altogether.

In fact, if we're going to live victorious lives, we must become proactive in our warfare. OUR WEAPONS are mighty ONLY THROUGH CHRIST and WE must put those weapons to work casting down imaginations and taking into captivity every thought.

So if we're tired of inching our way along (or backward), let's take a look into the WORD today and let it kickstart some exciting advances in our life. If we stay like this, we've got no one to blame but ourselves.

As the old Sunday School song says:
Read your Bible, pray every day,
Pray every day, pray every day.
Read your Bible, pray every day,
And you’ll grow, grow, grow.
Don’t read your Bible, forget to pray,
Forget to pray, forget to pray.
Don’t read your Bible, forget to pray,
And you’ll shrink, shrink, shrink.