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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone”

While thinking about the devotional for today’s episode, one thing eventually stood out to me apart from everything else. Gilda was angry at Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie for a rather minor reason. The fact of the matter was it was she who, in the words of Pinkie, was a meanie, a thief, and a bully; and while it was bad luck for her to be the victim of a great many pranks, she was the one who overreacted to them and took it out on everyone, including Rainbow Dash’s other friends. She was the one who ultimately owed everypony an apology for being out of line, but it was the fact that she was humiliated and embarrassed by Pinkie and Rainbow that she was focusing on. As a result, she bore a lingering anger, grudge, and ill will toward both of them. Enough to where she was insulting both at every opportunity and being openly hostile, even going out of her way to do so.

Even though it was later revealed that Rainbow Dash had been her only friend and went out of her own way to be nice to her when she was younger, she consciously tried to push that out of her memory when Pinkie reminded her of it; literally “trying to stay angry at her”.

And that’s what hit me about today’s episode…the insanity of grudges.

In this life, we’ll run into a lot of things that make us mad, a lot of bad experiences that leave a scar, and people who have hurt us so much that it takes years to overcome…if ever. In the worst of these situations, it’s human nature to hold a grudge: a lingering anger and hate that persists long after the source of our anger and hate has departed from us, and dictates future actions toward them. I dare say it’s possible to sympathize with people who have gone through incredibly bad experiences, but what strikes me is not those individuals…but rather the tenacity of people, perhaps all people, to desperately clutch to grudges in a way that borders on madness.

I’m sure we all know people (or perhaps are those people) who, due to having a bad service at one restaurant chain or reading one article about one retail store or hearing one thing about one place to visit, now adamantly shun and disparage that chain, store, or place. They pooh-pooh it at every opportunity, look for more stories or news articles that tell more bad tales about them and focus only on those, and when someone suggests going to those places or doing those things they either absolutely refuse or, worse yet, try to persuade others from going.

Or perhaps there’s the people who can’t stand that one actor, musician, or politician’s affiliation with an issue. I don’t think I need to tell many people to look hard for those who are political types. I know several people like that, and, in all honesty, it seems like they would rather die than say a single thing positive about the opposing political party or societal viewpoint. It always has to be about how the other group is made up of liars, crooks, thieves, murderers, and how only people who are morons would support them or side with them. This is where insanity almost seems to take hold, because for these people, they are at the point where the group they hate can do no good…only evil. It seems as if the opposing group found a way to, say, rid the world of landfills, these people would rant and rave about how they were evil for putting garbagemen out of work.

And, of course, there’s personal grudges against individuals. These are the worst. For me personally dealing with people I know who are holding grudges against another individual, I can’t even bring up the individual around them without the grudge-holder going into a long tirade about the entire history between them; as if they were trying to remind themselves to be angry, or making a speech entitled: “Why You Should Hate This Person as Much as I Do”.

The thing about all of these examples is people often cling to their anger and hate fiercely. Whether it be looking up more reasons to hate something, fervently trying to “convert” people to hate them, or reciting their reasons for hating them like an epic poem, one would get the idea that, somehow, a grudge and memories of hurt are somehow very precious to them.

This episode, of course, shows the foolishness of all of this. When Gilda, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie finally made up, the reason for their argument seemed so petty and small in retrospect. All of that time and energy wasted on stewing, brooding, leering, and insulting each other was pointless. It only made them more disagreeable people.

The same thing with any grudge. There might be times in life where we need to remain on guard and cautious of people who have hurt us, but it never makes sense to hold on to hate and anger. That just sours us on the inside and wastes our lives and peace of mind. It leads us to nurse everything God tells us to avoid: wrath, jealousy, hate, and ill will. And, in the end, it serves us nothing; just as worrying and anxiety serves us nothing. It just makes us keep more bad emotions bottled up inside and makes us more disagreeable and contentious…neither of which is healthy for Christian living.

As I have said before, Jesus encouraged us to forgive one another’s transgressions not just for the good of the sinner but for ourselves. In Ephesians 4:26-27, Paul cautions: “‘In your anger do not sin.’ Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” For so long as we stubbornly cling to hate as if it’s so important and necessary, we keep ourselves stunted in one place and moment in our lives, to say nothing of “giving ourselves permission” to remain hateful and spiteful.. And so long as we remain stunted, we can never grow or develop any more in Christ.

My personal encouragement, and challenge, to anyone reading this today is thus. Try to identify one thing that really “gets your goat” this week. Something that really irks you and leads you to be angry for a period of more than ten minutes. Try to stop yourself at that point and ask yourself truthfully: “Is my life or anyone else’s life any better for me being angry at this person/thing?”

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for your instruction and caution found in the Bible to keep us from walking dangerous paths, both in the physical sense as well as the mental, emotional, and spiritual sense. If I am continuing to hold on to hating anyone in my life, please confront me with it, forgive me for this transgression, and help me to overcome it so that I can be more ‘like Christ’ to everyone; including my enemies. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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