The Problem with Grudges


I recently saw an article entitled "I'll Carry My Grudge to Heaven."

Not many of us would dare say such a thing. We know that people who bear grudges aren't likely to get to heaven. However, while some will not express such a sentiment vocally, they proclaim it in their lives. They are harboring a grudge yet still envision themselves getting into heaven.

It's not going to happen!

A grudge is "a strong, continued feeling of hostility or ill will against someone over a real or fancied grievance." (Webster).

Just because we point out the fault of someone or persist in pointing out a fault that is unrepented of, does not mean we are holding a grudge. The key words in this definition are hostility and ill will.

I want to talk with you in this lesson about the subject, "The Trouble with Grudges."

In it, I want to suggest to you 8 problems with grudges.

The Problem of Grudges

1. If we carry a grudge it means we are unforgiving and unloving.

A practical definition means: 1) we don't use the offense against the person again. 2) We don't tell others about the offense, and 3) We, ourselves, don't continue to dwell on the wrong done.



"does not take in account a wrong suffered" (NAS).

"it keeps no record of wrongs" (NIV).

2. Bearing a grudge leads one to bitterness, wrath, and hatred

"Anger is the fuel from which grudges spring."

"A grudge is hatred in action."


Grudges in a Christian's life are evidence that the old man is not dead and put off.

3. Grudges promote gossip and slander.

"The repeating of a matter is typical of a person who hold a grudge and does not show love and forgiveness."


4. Holding grudges can disrupt the unity of friends, family, and the church.

Concerning friends: Prov.16:28; Prov.17:9

Concerning family

Remember the elder brother of the parable of the prodigal son. Luke 15:25-30

Concerning the church:

Even if they continue to assemble under one roof, there is division. Such division dampens the enthusiasm and hinders the work. The closeness that should exist is destroyed.

Sometimes the division is so bad one will leave and go elsewhere, and sometimes some will pull others off and begin a new congregation, not for need, but for the sake of a grudge.


"Satan seeks a gap called a grudge." (John Piper)

5. A grudge means we are not committing things to the judgment of God.



Some want to know, must I forgive if a person wrongs me and doesn't repent? No, but we must have a forgiving spirit, and judgment must be committed to God. There is no room for grudges or bitterness in the Christian's life.

6. Grudges can jeopardize a weak brother.

2Cor. 2:7


7. Harboring a grudge can keep us out of heaven.

We have noted that those who hold grudges have bitterness and hatred in their heart, they are unforgiving and unloving, they sometimes gossip and disrupt the unity friends, family and church, and they fail to submit to God's judgment and are not Christ like.

How can one violate so many commandments of God and still expect to go to heaven?

8. Bearing grudges can rob us of our happiness.

How can one be happy when he knows he is at odds with God and his fellowman?
How can one who is a Christian be happy when he fails to be Christ like?
How can one, whose greatest hope should be heaven, be happy when their eternal destiny isn't heaven?

I rather think that some who bear grudges and say they are happy are only pretending, and you can pretend only so long before true feelings erupt.

What's Needed?

Each of us need to look deep into our lives and hearts. We need to ask, "Is it I, Lord?"

Look about you, does the sight of someone bring hostile feelings to the surface.

Do you avoid someone just to keep from having to speak or wave?

Can you think of others that are not here for which you have these emotions and treat them in this fashion?

We need to rid ourselves of any grudges we bear while there is time.

Some examples that serve as incentives:

Esau did not continue to bear a grudge against Jacob.

Joseph did not bear a grudge against his brethren.

Jesus did not hold a grudge against those who crucified Him, nor against you.

God's instructions can help rid us of grudges or prevent grudges.



Put off the old man and put on the new! (Eph.4:22)


You can't carry a grudge and get to heaven. You can carry it to judgment, but it will only carry you to hell.

By Harold Hancock

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