Saul was tall, dark, and handsome. Saul was the first king of Israel. He was a man who led his army with some success and was admired by all… well, at least for a time. One of the things that contributed to Saul’s fall from grace and his demise was a grudge he held against David, who was his successor. After David killed Goliath on the field of battle, David become part of King Saul’s household. He grew up and became a very successful military in Saul’s army. When the crowds started singing his praises, Saul began growing a grudge. It grew so dark and deep that he tried to kill David. While David had many opportunities to get rid of his patron turned persecutor, he did not take them. Saul carried his grudge to the grave.
That is the thing about a grudge, we think we hold them to hurt the person we hate. The truth is a grudge just damages our own souls as they make us dark, paranoid and driven by pain. Self-pity and retribution fill our hearts. As one saying goes, “Holding a grudge is like letting a person live rent free in your brain.” Trust me, that person you direct all that anger toward is probably not spending any time thinking about you.
The Lenten journey to follow Jesus is rooted in confession — and reconciliation. Jesus told us to forgive our enemies, to make peace with one another before we approach the altar, to initiate the work of making peace. So, I’d like to suggest that for a Lenten fast, you give up a grudge. Pick a little on or a great big boulder of one. Give it to God in prayer. Ask for the help to forgive. Give up a grudge for Lent and clear some space in your head for that unneeded tenant.
2017 Timothy V. Olson. All rights reserved