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  • September 2011
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Oh, Grudges We Hold

Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.                                                                                                                                                                        Many people hold on to grudges like jewelry.  They wear them with a proud attitude.  They show them off to anyone who will listen.  There are people who hide their grudges.  They keep them locked up like they don’t have a care in the world.  But hidden within them is anger and resentment. Some people will allow you to see their grudges but won’t say a word as to why they even have them. Do you know anyone like this?  Are you one of these people?

Do you not find that there are times, when we let hurt feelings fester in us? It can be like a cancer that will slowly eat at you, until it can kill your spirit. People are people.  A simple statement, but a true one.  We all make mistakes that at times, hurt a persons feelings.  There are those who mean to hurt us for one reason or another.  But the majority of people don’t even know what they have done.  So when an interaction occurs, one person is distant and the other is searching  for why.

When kids come home with a grumpy, pouting attitude and we find it’s because someone said something that hurt them.  At that time, the question is, “Did you tell them that they hurt your feelings?”  If we do not tell them, then how are we to really know that they know that they hurt us? Matthew 18:15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. When all is said and done, don’t you feel better in knowing that you can apologize to someone you have wronged? Have you ever found out, later than the event, that you said or did something that you thought was fine, but you actually hurt someone? Were you told by the person you offended or did someone else feel the need to tell you? It can be a true test of some relationships, in seeing just how close and comfortable we really are with one another. We should to be taught, when we are young, just how to express ourselves. So that others know how to communicate with us and we with them.  If you go through your life letting everybody and their brother talk to you any old way they please, then you are asking everyone to not give you any respect.  Respect of your feelings as their parent, child, sibling, friend, etc.  This does not mean we all go bossing everyone around. It also does not mean, that we whine about every little thing that is said.  Some things can be small enough that we should be able to just let it go. No, we express love through interactions with one another.

It’s more understandable that children or even some young adults, don’t have communication skills “perfected” in a relationships with one another.  It’s something else when a full adult doesn’t or won’t attempt to.  There have been times in my life when I have found out that I hurt someone not intending to, months or years after it happened.  This has saddened me a great deal.  Because I realize that our relationship was not as I thought it was.  It wasn’t close or comfortable for them.  My words and expressions were empty when interacting with them.  There is a falsehood about the relationship.  Which I see as such a waste when, all could have been talked out so that we could grow together.  I have also had people who I have offended who have, instead of talking to me about it, they would “brag” to others.  They wear their grudge like a badge to shine on anyone who was kind to me.  I can admit that I have a big mouth at times.  And that there are times that I do things without really thinking them through.  I can also say that I work on those areas of my life every single day.  I do not think so highly of myself (although some might disagree).  I do not go out looking for trouble with people.  I go out looking to gain more with them and having delight in sharing it with others.

When we can keep in mind, and accept that no one is going to treat you the exact way you would like them to every single time they see you, we can then see how easy it is to be less offended.  You know that saying, “Can’t we all just get a long?”  The answer is actually yes.  But it is only going to happen if we go about it the right way.  With understanding, acceptance, and love.

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