The Writing Life

Wronged in Business? When You Want to Hold a Grudge

Even though we’re doing business in the Christian community, none of us is immune from feeling wronged at one time or another. Perhaps an editor should have bought your book instead of someone else’s. Maybe you know a publisher didn’t promote your book with sufficient enthusiasm. Someone who doesn’t understand you could be making negative comments about you.  Or someone could (intentionally or unintentionally) ignore you, to your detriment.

I could write my own book listing how easy it is to be wronged!

Regardless, the one thing you don’t want to do is hold on to feelings of being wronged. At least, not for long. Acknowledge the sentiments, learn from the experience, and then let go if at all possible. Here are some motivations to help release residual emotions:

  • When you hold on to anger, you are freezing yourself in a moment. When you can’t move on, you can’t grow.
  • If you hold a grudge, you’re saying you’re unwilling or unable to do the spiritual work necessary to grow. Bad experiences are teachers. Teachers can be harsh. They can be unfair. But they always show us something about ourselves and others.
  • Grudges make us angry. Do you want to navigate the world as a wrathful person? If you do, that venom is likely to hold others back from wanting to interact with you. After all, do you want to do business with a vitriolic person, or a joyful person? In all of your dealings, what type of person do you want to interact with?
  • When you hold a grudge, the grudge may become a significant part of your identity. I know people who’ve held grudges for decades. That grudge becomes part of what they’re known for. When you let go of a grudge, people no longer associate you with a feud and your identity changes for the better.
  • Holding a grudge keeps us from trusting God. Give Him the gift of your hostility toward another person. He knows what to do with that hostility much more than we do.

Learn, let go and be free.

“If you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” Galatians 5:15


Your turn:

Do you hold a grudge? How will you now let go?

What tips can you offer to release anger?

How has your life become better after you’ve forgiven someone?


Leave a Comment

Good and Bad Advice on The Writing Life

After graduation from college, I got an entry level job at a radio station, programmed with call-in talk shows. I carried out the trash, conducted regular “Frosty-runs” to Wendy’s for the news director, painted the sales office, screened callers for the shows during off-hours, took transmitter readings, got coffee for …

Read More

Søren Kierkegaard on Writing

Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and writer in the mid-1800s. His works have been highly influential for the past 170 years. He is not without his critics but a couple years ago Christianity Today ran an article titled, “Why We Still Need Kierkegaard.” My own journey has included wrestling …

Read More

Author Says / Agent Hears

Many aspiring authors communicate things they think are positive, or at least in the spirit of honesty and transparency, but end up being understood entirely different than the intended message. In an attempt to show commitment, an aspiring author says, “I’ve been working on this book for ten years.” An …

Read More

Finding Time to Write

How do you find time to write? You don’t. Non-writers try to find time to write; writers make time to write. A couple lifetimes ago, after having been a pastor for seven years, I took a desk job—the first time in my adult life when my job wasn’t 24/7. But …

Read More

How to Find Your Perfect Critique Partner

When I teach at writers’ conferences, the value of good critique partners often comes up. An insightful critique partner can help a writer improve the level of his or her craft, sometimes more than either person would have thought possible. The conversation often leads to the question, “How do I …

Read More