Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our Friday Friends. So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our Friday Friend, Arlene Pellicane.
Friend to Friend
When my husband James and I were newlyweds, our first fight revolved around teriyaki chicken and broccoli. I was not a good cook. When James got home and asked if he could invite the new neighbor over, I said definitely not. I didn’t have enough food and was nervous enough about the meal without a dinner guest.
Imagine my surprise, irritation, and anger when my new husband invited the neighbor over after I had said no. When the doorbell rang, all angst was forgotten. I was a nice host. But when our guest left, I fussed and fumed, slamming cabinets for dramatic effect. James tackled me like Tigger. Putting his face right up to mine, he smiled and said, “I’m sorry!”
What would you have done? How do you usually respond when a friend or family member does you wrong?
James’ apology was a bit on the jovial side so I waited to clarify that he really was sorry and that he would not bring another dinner guest again without my okay. He gave a sincere apology, which left me with a choice. I could nurse the grudge a little longer or I could say “Grudge, be gone.”
It’s easy to allow our minds to rehearse the wrongs done to us. Your boss passed you up for that promotion again. Your sister said something hurtful to you. Lately your co-workers have been gossiping about you. Yet Scripture tells us to think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). When we hold grudges, we do the opposite. We think on what is wrong and painful. We can boast to others about how hard we have it and receive a sense of importance because of our emotional pain.
That night, I decided to forgive James for his error in judgment and move on. I thought of the church marquee that read, “No matter how much you nurse a grudge, it won’t get better.” Meditating on wrongs done in the past will not expedite healing. It will prevent it. If you need help because you tend to keep a record of wrongs, try dwelling on how love behaves instead: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, NIV).
Love says “Grudge, be gone.”
Lord, I want to dwell on the good, not the bad. Transform my mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. May I experience unity with my friends and family members. Help me be a peacemaker in my home, workplace, church, school and everywhere I go.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Are you holding a grudge against anyone today? If so, take a piece of paper and write out Ephesians 4:32, inserting the person’s name: “I will be kind and compassionate to _______, forgiving him or her, just as in Christ God forgave me.” Read this whenever you are tempted to nurse that grudge.
More from the Girlfriends
You’ll be happy to hear that in 17 years of marriage, Arlene’s husband has never brought home a surprise dinner guest! Arlene Pellicane is the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom. Maybe you’re struggling with anger and frustration as a parent. 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom will help you stress less and enjoy your kids more.