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Posts Tagged ‘grudges’

Clearly, if we must be told, as a people, to “not” hold grudges or seek revenge, it must be a norm or tendency. My kids call it “paybacks.” Instead, we are to love our neighbor and why? Because the Lord God says so.

Leviticus 19:18
‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Of all the things I struggle with, I don’t believe seeking revenge is that high on my list. Grudge-keeping on the hand, is pretty good sport in my head. It’s just one more list. I keep lots of lists and the grudge list, whether I want to admit it or not, is hanging out there waiting for additions at a moment’s notice. It’s amazing how quickly I can drag up the list once I’m wronged again. Not good.

The solution, based on this scripture, is to love that neighbor. And not just love them in general, but with the same care that we love ourselves.

There’s a trend out there to turn this command into a kind of self-serving mandate: I must learn to love myself first. I think that’s self-help myth. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all love ourselves enough to keep eating, sleeping, and entertaining ourselves. That’s not to say we don’t abuse our bodies, use terrible self-talk, and procrastinate. My guess is that the best way to stop self-bashing is to stop bashing others. In the meantime, if I could just give the courtesy of basic acceptance, like food, shelter, clothing, and remember that everyone is working the human thing. We all make mistakes.

I think it’s time to erase the grudge lists. Delete, delete.

Anyway, there’s good reason to do so. God says so.

There is no grudge, no revenge, no mistake, no betrayal that is bigger than God. If I can’t figure it out, if I can’t muster up the reasons to let these things go, then I may have to drop back to the common denominator: God says so.

As a parent, how many times have I finally used this reason. Sometimes, it’s just too complicated, too time-consuming, too frustrating to explain the ins and outs of why a particular decision must be made. Kids don’t get it. And so, I drop back and punt: Because I said so. Apparently, in this case, God feels the same way. Stop with the lists and planning for evil and love instead. It doesn’t have to be Valentines Day with hearts and flowers and chocolates, just the basics, just simple courtesy and respect for the core of the other person, the sacred core created by God.

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