What is a grudge? Not forgiving someone. Why do folks hold grudges? It is a source of power, plain and simple. Unfortunately, it harbors many other problems, as shown in its synonyms. As a Christian, I must be on guard constantly to not harbor grudges: always ready to forgive, whatever the means (phone call, letter, in person, email, fax, etc.). I should never harbor any ill will toward another living soul. I should always seek the best for all people!So, how can I possibly not hold a grudge? What if that person persists in sinning against me, knowingly? What do I do? Where do I go? Being a Christian, the answer is simple--Go to Christ. Seek His grace to overcome the consequences of sin, the hurt, the offence, and also to forgive and love through Him.
He tells Christians to forgive "seventy times seven," for the same sin! Am I going to take account of every single sin that someone commits against me, to see if I have forgiven them 490 times, just for that one sin? No! That is insane!
So, I will keep forgiving, which pleases my Lord and restores broken fellowship. After all, I sinned against Him a lot more than any one person will ever sin against me. He has suffered much more than any person will in their lifetime, and through it all He still forgave me and saved me (knowing that I would still sin, even after getting saved!). What marvelous grace my Lord Jesus Christ has!
What happens, though, when I sin and someone will not forgive me, though I seek their forgiveness? Pray for them. I cannot change their heart. I should not have sinned against them, since I am now a Christian. Though I will undoubtedly sin today, tomorrow, and until Christ returns for me, I should be striving to walk according to His will, not mine. So, I learn from my sins, and keep praying for those I have hurt.
It will not feel easy. Feelings get hurt. Relationships are severed, or at least will no longer be as they once were. People can move on and create a different kind of fellowship one with another. Yet, all this ultimately must come from Christ. If He is not sought out to heal and restore, it will continue to be a sinful mess.
"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."