When Lydia and I were doing premarital counseling, something pretty insightful was brought up. The couple doing the counseling with us said that if we have an argument, don’t tell anyone about it. Don’t say anything bad about each other to other people because even when we’ve worked it out, those other people will probably keep holding that grudge for us. Even years after the fact, friends and family (especially family) tend to hold grudges for us because they don’t know the whole story or that we’ve made up. It’s a good piece of advice.
I was thinking about this the other day. It’s good to try to make sure that you aren’t letting other people hold a grudge for you, but a lot of times people hold a grudge for you even when you never wanted them to.
Lydia and I were secretly going out before we were allowed to. It all came to light when Lydia and I got pregnant. For about a year, Lydia and I weren’t allowed to see each other. When we finally were allowed to see each other, it was a while before we were allowed to get married. I didn’t find out until after we were married, but apparently a lot of people were mad that the church and our parents didn’t let us just get married when we found out Lydia was pregnant. Turns out, some of these people are still angry about it. Talk about holding a grudge.
First of all, neither Lydia or I expressed anything to these people that should make them want to be mad about it this whole time. Second, neither of us are mad about it. Why are these people?
Holding a grudge is probably one of the dumbest things you can do. People say that bitterness is like eating poison and expecting the other person to get sick. Can you imagine how it feels if someone is bitter because of something that’s happening against you, but you’re not even mad about it? It sort of sucks.
If you are bitter towards the pastors in my church or my parents or anyone because Lydia and I weren’t allowed to get married right away, stop it. We’re not mad. You shouldn’t be either.
If there’s something in your life that you’re mad about, try and get it all worked out before venting about it to other people, especially family. Because when you get it all worked out, they might hold onto the bitterness for you. That being said, sometimes you have to talk about it. Make sure that you choose the person you talk to wisely. Someone who is trustworthy and won’t take on any grudges for you. A pastor or a Christian mentor is usually the best bet.
And if you are holding a grudge because of something that has happened to someone else, drop it. If the person who it’s happening to is mad about it now, that doesn’t mean they’ll be mad about it forever. You don’t want to ruin your relationship with them, or the person they are mad at just because you’re holding onto an offense that has already been worked out.