When life deals me a blow, especially at the hands of another person, I can feel grief, or I can feel aggrieved. It’s always my choice. I can grieve, or I can create a grievance.
By feeling grief, I choose to be hurt; to be aggrieved, I choose to hurt myself further. Grief leads to freedom; a grievance, to bondage.
When I allow myself to be hurt, God can help me work through the pain and, in the end, release it to Him. I find Him in that pain, and then He leads me out of it.
When I perch atop a grievance, a resentment, I tell God: ‘This is more important that the forgiveness You offer to help me with.’
Grief is a sadness, a product of compassion. I grieve because people can be wicked, thoughtless and selfish. They can knowingly or unknowingly hurt me.
Grievance, on the other hand, is a product of pride, which feeds my own selfishness in response to that of others. Should their choice to be selfish give me the right to choose selfishness as well?
Compassion always leads me toward forgiveness. Grievance always hardens a heart, even a soft one.
Where does my heart rest today? Always between the extremes in the moment of hurt, but it must ultimately move one way or the other.
If I’m to have peace, and move forward, my heart must come to rest (and will have rest), in Jesus. He’s my only source of rest. So I grieve, and find peace.
“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” (Ephesians 4:26-27 MSG)
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)
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