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Inspiration for Today’s Motivational: “Fall Weather Friends”

Unfortunately, Applejack and Rainbow Dash remind me a lot of some people who are close to me. Our family, for whatever stubborn reason or family trait or tradition, are huge on grudges. Really bad…as bad as those two got in this episode. Just like them, they start “looking” for reasons to dislike each other. Whenever there’s a mistake, it was never an accident; it was done on purpose. Whenever there’s an act of forgetfulness or a different commitment, it’s always something done to sleight another. They sit around at gatherings and talk about how much they dislike the other and what they did to them and, most importantly, it’s always the other person who is totally unreasonable and going out of their way to be mean or make their life unhappy or unpleasant. They vow never to talk to the family member or have anything to do with them. Members of my family have thrown other family members out of funerals or made personal commitments (which they have fulfilled) to never talk to a person again for the rest of their lives.

Now many people would argue in some of these cases involving my family, let alone the world at large, these things are merited. If an individual was abusive, for example, either mentally, emotionally, physically, and/or even sexually, then naturally we want to avoid that family member. Likewise, some of these grudges are rather silly and pointless, such as the one between Applejack and Rainbow Dash that was ultimately based on nothing other than petty rivalry. Yet the fact of the matter is it doesn’t matter in either case. Grudges are never healthy things to have.

Perhaps things can happen like this episode; feuding and fighting that ultimately serves no purpose other than to put one in unnecessary pain. Or perhaps it simply gnaws on our mind, taking up part of our lives just sitting around venting or seething with hate for someone. Or it might drive us away from seeking wholeness and completeness in our lives, carrying around something that “clings to evil” and keeps us from becoming whole and perfect in Christ. And ultimately, it serves little purpose. What good do I do myself if I focus on a past wrong and just sit around “hating someone else” for it, after all? All it does is make me bitter and twisted on the inside. And how can I call myself a Christian if there’s anyone in my life I basically just “sit around and hate” all the time?

Furthermore, how can I expect God to forgive me for my own sins when, as Jesus’ parable about the king and his servant cautions, I refuse to forgive others?

In Mark 11:25, Jesus says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” In Ephesians 4:26, the Bible reads: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” and, a bit later, in 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” This is important not just if we’re seeking forgiveness from God, but also simply for our own well being and peace of mind. Now, that’s not to say (as in the extreme cases mentioned above) that forgiveness and releasing your grudge necessarily means you have to get along with whoever wronged you, but it is important for your own well-being. Maybe I can’t control other people, but I can control how I respond to people and, most importantly, whether I will let how people have treated me control me. I’m not responsible for what people have done to me. I am responsible for getting over it and moving on to a healthier life.

To borrow from a non-Biblical quote for today, but I good one from an anonymous source, “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, please pardon me for the hatred I bear toward (name this person). Help me to get to the root of my anger and hurt and grant me the strength to forgive them, if for my own sake and becoming ‘more perfect’ if nothing else. And please help me to never nurse a grudge or harbor lasting hatred for anyone. Thank you for forgiving me for all my sins regardless of what I have done. Help me to be more ‘like Christ’ in doing the same to others. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”