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Skip the Grudge – Love Your Neighbor

Who do you call “Neighbor”?

Who are the people that you call “neighbor”? The people that live next door, across the street, down the street, or within your housing development, apartment building or condo? What about the people at work or in your school? What about the people that live right inside of your home…your spouse, parents, brothers, sisters? Basically, anyone you come in contact with as you live your life is your neighbor and God expects us to all get along. We are not to take revenge or bear a grudge. In fact, He expects us to love others as much as we love ourselves.

Revenge and Grudge

There is nothing right or okay about taking revenge or holding on to a grudge. There is no place in the Christian’s life for either one. No where in the life of Christ will you find him taking revenge or holding a grudge. Not when Judas betrayed him, not when the 12 disciples left him, not when Peter denied him, and not when the Roman soldier nailed him to a cross. Instead, from the cross, He asks His Father to “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

God wants us to forgive….just as He forgave us. Paul told us in Romans 12:19, Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” When you hold on to a grudge or seek revenge, you are typically the person that is most miserable while the one you are angry with goes on with their life. But when you release it and let it go into the hands of the Almighty God and choose forgiveness instead, you demonstrate the nature and character of Christ.

Defeating the Urge to Grudge

Proverbs 25:21-22 says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” It really comes down to one word: “LOVE.” We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are to even love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us. Paul wrote in Romans 12:14, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” If you want to defeat the urge to take revenge or hold a grudge, bless the person who did you wrong. Stop and pray for that person and ask God to bless them. You’ll feel much better than hanging on to anger and holding grudges and seeking revenge.

Try to find at least five things that you can do for other people today that show you love them as much as you love yourself. Can you do one thing for each of the following people: someone in your home, someone on your street, someone at work, a friend, a total stranger or homeless person. As you do, say a prayer of blessing for each of these people.

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