Someone once said ‘the problem of holding on to a grudge is that we can’t hold on to anything else.’ If we choose to remain offended, hurt and wounded by wrongs done to us, we are usually the one to bear the pain and suffering long after the incident. A grudge is a ‘persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.’ (Mac Dictionary) The key word is ‘past’ insult or injury. These issues are past issues. To hold a grudge is to keep it present.
This is the rock-hard truth about grudges and reconciliation: the one who has been most offended often makes the greatest sacrifice for acceptance and forgiveness of offenses. This is true in so many of our daily experiences in personal relationships, business deals, church deals, job related matters, marriage and family issues or whatever.
The story of the prodigal son is just such a case. It is the father who forgives most and is offended most and apt to hold the grudge. But this story is to show us a father who can forgive beyond the grudge, pain and wrong. It is a picture of the father who lays down a grudge to pick up a son.
“And the son arose and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Jesus