Summary: Article shows how an unforgiving heart carries cargo with no pay and that a grudge is a beast that conquers its owner.

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A friend told me her daughter’s death caused reconciliation among her and her sisters. The heartbreaking loss cut though years of resentment and grudges. Lately, I’ve been assessing the matter of forgiveness. This has been one of the more difficult ethought issues to ponder and write about, but here’s my shot at it.

I’ve been thinking what a strange and awful beast, the grudge. Acting like an internal contract, the grudge obliges us to be unhappy and unhealed. Sometimes a grudge starts with a tangible offense, but over time it imbeds itself cleverly. All that’s left then is a sensation of mistrust or dislike. On the other hand, sometimes we remember the intricate details of our resentment. Grudges are fortresses of the malcontent.

On some level I believe we all carry some kind of unforgiveness. A bully from childhood, a betrayal, an absent parent, or other troubles may create wounds that don’t seem to wholly mend. Perhaps we harbor grudges because they make us feel better. We believe injustice should be remembered so it punishes the wrongdoing or saves us from future pain.

I have found unforgiveness is an internal standpoint hurting the wounded more than the wrongdoer. The offender may carry on with life whereas the injured person clutches to new pain with the memory of the transgression. Those negative memories and feelings bring repeated sufferings. Some wrongs seem unforgivable because they are unforgettable. To me, it is a myth that forgiving equals forgetting. Forgiveness is purely the waiving of our right to penalize. Forgiving is forgetting that you should blame or punish the one who hurt you. Forgetting a wrongdoing utterly may end up as wasted life experience.

Don’t be fooled, forgiveness does not vindicate an offense. It is forgiveness that releases us from the offense. A forgiver quits shouldering the burden of injustice, and receives in that place freedom and eventual healing. As we release the right to reprisal, blessings and opportunity flood into our lives because grudges are dams that hold back liberation. My friend experienced many difficult years deprived of family love and support because resentment had blocked the way for everyone concerned. Once that dam was broken renewal began straightaway; Just as water in a perched land brings life and bounty.

Although it may not be easy, I encourage you to attain emancipation this week as you search for any unforgiveness in your heart and mind. Whether from the past or the present, cancel the debt owed you. If possible, tell the perpetrator you have forgiven them, (without expecting anything in return.) If that is not feasible, in your own heart fully break the grudge dam with forgiveness and enjoy the coming freedom. Forgiveness is a gracious gift­ allowing forgiveness to release and heal you is an immeasurable reward.

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