We all have been hurt by those we care about, and sometimes that hurt can turn into a grudge. Learning to get over a grudge can be an important part of our personal growth, because grudges remain an unhealthy choice. There are several things you can do to get over a grudge and not feel like you have to hold so tight onto angry feelings.
Why Getting Over a Grudge is Important
Holding a grudge can have so many negative effects on your life. The Bible tells us that God wants us to learn forgiveness. There are a number of bible verses on forgiveness that tell us to turn the other cheek, forgive our brothers and sisters, and move past bad situations. However, sometimes telling someone to do something is easy, while actually doing it is not.
Yet holding onto a grudge can have some really negative side effects. It can destroy relationships by letting anger take root in a divisive way. Studies have also shown that holding a grudge has negative effects on our bodies. Those that hold onto a grudge may have higher blood pressure and faster heart rates. Emotionally, when we let bitterness seep into one area of our life, it allows it to seep into others. We can become depressed and isolated by holding onto that grudge.
So learning to let go of a grudge is not only good for our health, but also pleasing to God.
Learn to Let Go
There are several things you can do to get over a grudge, and some of these things can also help you prevent yourself from ever forming a grudge in the first place. Here are some things to try:
- Make forgiveness a priority. Forgiveness is important, as we see over and over in the Bible. Yet it doesn't always come naturally. We have to learn how to forgive, but forgiveness only comes if we're willing and we put in the effort to make it happen. Making the loss of a grudge your priority sets you on the right path.
- Take a moment to think about the situation. In order to get over a grudge, we have to spend some time thinking about the situation that caused it in the first place. The situation may hurt to think about, but we have to look at it from all sides. Sometimes we're quick to anger, and we don't always think clearly about what happens. Take some time to really think about things.
- Realize why you're holding onto the anger. Why are you holding onto so much anger? What makes you afraid to forgive? Sometimes the hurt goes so deep that we think forgiveness lets the offender off the hook. Forgiveness doesn't mean there aren't consequences. It's about freeing yourself from the emotions that tie you up in knots. Maybe it's time to move on from the situation.
- Pray about the situation. We can think all the thoughts we want about the problem, but God always has His own insight. Spend some time in prayer asking God to give you a forgiving heart and to teach you how to let go.
- Make sure you're ready. Getting over a grudge isn't always instantaneous. It takes work, and you have to be willing to bury the hatchet permanently. If you are struggling too much, you may just have to give yourself more time. You may need to pray more or do more introspection. When you let go, let that grudge go fully.
- Take back control over yourself. Stop letting someone else have the power over how you feel. Forgiveness often means taking back control of your emotions. You need to stop letting others dictate our feelings, and forgiveness puts us back in the driver's seat.