Giving Up the Grudge

Several years ago, my pastor-husband and I found ourselves divorcing — not each other, but a church. Leaving the congregation we had nurtured and loved, we struggled with a gamut of emotions: anger, bitterness, betrayal, jealousy and resentment. We had to give up our grudges, however, if we were to recover spiritually and serve again healthily. To do so, we needed to embrace four essential principles:

  1. We had to recognize the existence of our feelings, realize our need to forgive others and receive God's forgiveness for our unforgiving attitudes.
  2. We had to identify the deeper issues, specifically naming each sin and how it made us feel. We found that sharing our feeling with God brought closure to the process of giving up our grudges.
  3. We had to confess and let forgiveness visit the core of our emotions. Plus, we needed to allow God to expose the root cause of our emotions.
  4. We had to experience forgiveness as a command, a choice and a crisis of our will.

Martin Luther King said, "Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is an attitude." It is a moment-by-moment decision to be merciful and to bear the iniquities of those who have wronged you, as did the Lord Jesus. So as we left behind our pastorate, we chose also to leave behind our grudges, which set us free to serve as God intended

Taken from Pastor's Family Bulletin, Jul/Aug 2000.
Article copyright © 2003, Sheryl D. Giesbrecht.
All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
Used by permission.

Sheryl D. Giesbrecht is a ministry wife who serves with her husband, Paul, in Bakersfield, Calif.