Who, me? Grudges?
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). How I love the comfort of that Scripture passage. How I love knowing that my record of moral failings, my idolatries, lies, and omissions, disappear from God’s book of deeds like shaking up an Etch A Sketch. What a relief it is to believe, to know, that my meeting with God personally when I die won’t bring his disgust crashing down on my head.
So why then do I hang onto old hurts the way I do? Love “keeps no record of wrongs,” says St. Paul (1 Corinthians 13:5). It sure doesn’t. The real question is whether or not you and I keep a record of wrongs. I think I know why I persist in doing that. Remembering other’s faults is a cheap way for me to feel superior. If I refuse to forgive, I can imagine that I hold the moral high ground. A grudge is like an asset—if I forgive, I give up the issue as a weapon to use for my advantage. I might need that weapon in a future argument.
Jesus told a parable once about an unmerciful servant who had been forgiven an immense debt but who then turned on a fellow servant for a relative pittance. Today is the day for you to dump the anger bag, shake out all the IOU grudges you’ve been hoarding, and release your fellow sinners from your judgment.