Today was communion Sunday at my church. Contemplation prior to taking communion revealed some unfinished business nestled in a dark corner of my heart—a few “grudges” needed to be dealt with. It was time for “giving up the grudge.” Nothing major, if grudges can be considered “minor,” but nonetheless, it was time for them to go. Being a writer, I like to know the meaning of words. It helps me understand the word and grasp what lies behind it. Somehow, it is easier for me to deal with how it holds me back. The word “grudge” is derived from the root meaning, “to complain or cry out.” led me to a really cool distinction between grudge, malice, envy, resentment, and spite:

  1. A grudge  is a feeling of resentment harbored because of some real or fancied wrong. Key distinction: real or fancied.
  2. Malice  is the state of mind that delights in doing harm, or seeing harm done, to others, whether expressing itself in an attempt seriously to injure or merely in sardonic humor: malice in watching someone’s embarrassment; to tell lies about someone out of malice.
  3. Spite  is petty, and often sudden, resentment that manifests itself usually in trifling retaliations: to reveal a secret out of spite.
  4. Resentment is “the feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.”
  5. Envy, as defined in Webster’s 1828 is, “To feel uneasiness, mortification or discontent, at the sight of superior excellence, reputation or happiness enjoyed by another; to repine at another’s prosperity; to fret or grieve one’s self at the real or supposed superiority of another, and to hate him on that account.”

One thing is for sure, left alone, these seemingly “petty” [little, small, inconsiderable, trifling] issues can become boulders and barriers to true unity. Take note, in the above definitions, of how these five negative behaviors weasel their way into our lives: a feeling, a wrongdoing, a petty remark, a sarcastic statement, an act, or trite words passed on in a conversation. Isn’t it amazing how they can totally take over our lives to the point that we become disabled in some way?

C. S. Lewis, in his incredible book, “The Screwtape Letters,” exposes the incredibly sly schemes and tactics of our enemy, Satan. He, and his army of devils, have one sole purpose: divide and conquer. Divide relationships. Divide families. Divide rock-solid homes. Divide the body of Christ—on both the individual and corporate level.

In Letter 3, Screwtape encourages Jr. Devil, Wormwood, to “build up in that house a good settled habit of mutual annoyance; daily pinpricks” (p. 11). Commentary on this letter states, “Little offenses can be made to produce significant results if handled properly” (,%20The.pdf). It gives the enemy of our lives great pleasure to see us allowing “petty” offenses, which often begin as a off-the-cuff remark, take root, transforming into ugly little grudges that rent space in our hearts. Today, I am hanging a NO VACANCY sign.


Grudges, it is time for you to go!


One thing is certain. I do not want to  have any of this ugliness in my heart. So, without further ado, I am dealing with them. Off they go.

Leviticus 19:17-19 urges,
“Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

Within this scripture is the directive for dealing with a grudge. Leviticus says to “rebuke your neighbor frankly,” which I interpret as “deal with it.” Don’t let the grudge occupy. When it does, it gains momentum. Vain imagination takes over. Trouble ensues. Gossip goes forth. Division occurs. And, the devil wins. Nothing good comes out of harboring grudges or grievances. If necessary (which only you can discern), go to the person with whom you are holding the grudge, talk about it, and move on from there. Hopefully, an open and honest conversation between the two parties can take place, leading to understanding, deeper fellowship, and a true spirit of unity which enables the body of Christ to operate as it was intended.

Maybe you have a little grudge occupying one of the corners of your heart. Join me as I face it and bid it adieu. I know it isn’t easy, but it is the right thing to do. The end result: true freedom in Christ. More space for God to move in our lives.

Fill out the info below, and I'll send you a link to download the PDF interactive guide, "Why Am I So Angry?" I believe that if you put in the hard work + intentional application of these principles + spiritual fortitude into this healing practice, you will move into a far more meaningful life.

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