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?

 

33 Responses to Wronged in Business? When You Want to Hold a Grudge

  1. Avatar
    Loretta Eidson June 21, 2018 at 5:36 am #

    You are right, Tamela, holding a grudge is a poisonous venom that can kill our spirit and cause us to become bitter. If I held unforgiveness toward every person who has hurt me, wronged me, or falsely accused me, I’d be one miserable person. However, God told us to not to hold on to anger. He told us to forgive. I take him at his Word and I purposely choose to forgive. It frees me from the dark cloud that hangs overhead and allows me to have peace. I’ve had people who knew my situation ask, “How can you forgive?” Well, it’s simple. I release that person into God’s hands, I pray for that person and trust that God will handle the rest. Holding a grudge isn’t worth the inner torment, nor is it worth giving up space where peace and joy reside. I choose forgiveness.

  2. Avatar
    Sarah Hamaker June 21, 2018 at 6:08 am #

    I’d also add that how we view the world plays a large part in whether we hold grudges or hang onto hurts. When we view the world/situations as not “on our side,” we tend to interpret things negatively, leading to grudges.

    However, when we view the world/circumstances as “for our good and for God’s glory,” that puts a whole other spin on the things that happen to us and the people we encounter. It’s much harder to hold a grudge when we’re already thinking of the situation as being for our good–and for the glory of our Heavenly Father.

    I’m not saying this is easy, but it has made a huge difference in my own life when facing adversity or negativity or disappointments.

  3. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser June 21, 2018 at 6:25 am #

    Letting go of a grudge is easy; I’ve a mate from Cape York who’s a witch-doctor, and a dab hand at bone pointing. Slip him a name and a Foster’s and that’s job jobbed.

    The thing is, Tamela, letting go of anger makes you live longer. I’m four years past the date here my perplexed doctor expected me dead, mainly because I’m an infuriatingly Cheerful Charlie (ask Barb!) who treats everything, including pancreatic cancer, as a huge joke, and the jokes played on US are often the funniest.

    It’s not all Drambuie and unicorns; the pain that’s a constant (and you don’t get used to it) is like a combination of broken ribs, angina, and the worst flu you ever had, magnified to an I-want-to-bang-my-head-against-a-wall degree. And then there’s incontinence…

    I’m expected to be angry (“He’s repressing, poor dear!”), but at whom? God? If this was part of His Plan, it’s sure a cruel and f…uh, messed-up plan! Yeah! Be mad at GOD!

    Well, maybe not. First, getting zapped by lightning’s not a lot of fun, and second, I’m as capable of understanding His Plan about as well as a squirrel can understand orbital mechanics. I simply don’t have the frame of reference.

    Consider a minor surgery I once had to do on myself, to remove a piece of metal that had no right to be where it was. It hurt (I was out of Drambuie), oh, Lordy, it hurt, but I had to hurt in order to heal. Being ‘merciful’ and avoiding the pain would have caused sepsis, and sepsis in the tropics is no way to go.

    So my life is the surgery on the Talking Squirrel, and I can either try to bite the Surgeon’s Nose (tempting, sometimes) or cooperate, and relax, and make it easier for Him to do the best job.

    Sure, it’s not necessarily the strongest analogue, but it keeps me from getting angry, and keeps me focused on things like the wildflowers that are now blooming in my particular stretch of desert, gifts to soothe the spirit from On High.

    And I bet you thought I was joking about the witch-doctor.

    Are you SURE?

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray June 21, 2018 at 8:47 am #

      Andrew, thank you for being so open and candid about your fight. I really appreciate you for being such a vital part of our blog community. I continue to pray for you.

  4. Avatar
    Chad Pettit June 21, 2018 at 6:26 am #

    A grudge won’t let you budge. We definitely need to learn to forgive and move forward. Great piece!

  5. Avatar
    Sharon K. Connell June 21, 2018 at 6:33 am #

    I’ve always found the best way to keep from letting that anger or grudge fester in your heart is to give it to the Lord, and then pray for the party that has hurt you. It works for me. 🙂 Thanks for the article.

  6. Avatar
    Judith Robl June 21, 2018 at 6:57 am #

    ” But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

    This isn’t a suggestion; it’s a command. And like all the other commands of the Lord, it is given for our benefit. I’ve found it the best way – the only way – to avoid holding a grudge.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray June 21, 2018 at 8:49 am #

      Yes! I’ve often heard some version of, “The person you’re so mad at is having a fun time at the beach while you stew.” A grudge hurts us much more than it does the person we’re upset with.

    • Avatar
      Rebekah Love Dorris June 21, 2018 at 9:49 am #

      Mrs Judith, once someone at church slipped verses from that passage into my hand, with no way of knowing I’d just gone through what the verses described. Those verses probably saved my life from bitterness. Love them.

      Thank you for this comforting post, Tamela. This is why I read this blog so faithfully. Such an encouragement.

  7. Avatar
    Cherilyn Rivera June 21, 2018 at 6:59 am #

    Tamela, Thanks for writing on that subject. Although I haven’t had a problem with grudges as an author, everyone has to deal with those feelings at one time or another. Reading this lightened my mood and reminded me how good it is to read Christian advice and devote time to devotion and prayer every morning. This morning was crazy for me and the post changed my mindset for the day. Thanks!

  8. Avatar
    Nora June 21, 2018 at 7:23 am #

    But……but…..you don’t know what they did….. How many times have we heard that one? Maybe said it ourselves. Doesn’t matter. It’s still not up to us to hold a grudge or take revenge. God will take care of it. I’ve seen the boss’s job. I don’t want it.

  9. Avatar
    Carol Ashby June 21, 2018 at 7:48 am #

    As natural as it is to be angry at someone who hurts or offends us, holding on to that anger isn’t an allowable option for a follower of Jesus. As Jesus put it so bluntly in Matt. 6:12-15, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (NIV)

    It couldn’t be clearer that we are commanded to forgive, not hold a grudge, and the penalty for disobeying that command is enormous.

    I have found that forgiving those who hurt me or those I care about is one of the hardest things to do as a Christian, but I know I must keep working at it until I truly have forgiven. Forgiving the unforgiveable is a theme in all my novels because it’s a universal problem, and we can do it only with the Spirit’s help. It’s also usually a step-wise process, not a simple one-and-done. The best way I’ve found to make progress is to pray for the person who wronged me. It’s funny how often that turns a former enemy into a friend, and that’s a wonderful reward for doing what Jesus said.

  10. Avatar
    Shirlee Abbott June 21, 2018 at 8:37 am #

    Hard to be a messenger of God’s grace and mercy while holding a bitter grudge. Jesus had a parable for that.

  11. Avatar
    Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D June 21, 2018 at 8:53 am #

    Tamela, your wise comments apply not only to writing but to life. When we become grudge-holders, folks don’t like to be around us. We become “stinkin’ thinkers” and who wants to be involved with that person?

    It’s sometimes difficult to let go of a grudge but through prayer and thinking about things that are “pure, lovely, honest, and of good rapport” we can do just that.

  12. Avatar
    Norma Brumbaugh June 21, 2018 at 9:45 am #

    Tamela, right on! Funny thing, my mind was on the same track today. I lumped all the uglies and called them “disappointments” in a tweet. We can’t fix some things, and we often attach wrong messages we internalize that, consequently, become part of our self’s belief system. One can’t live there for long and remain healthy. Here’s the tweet.
    “Q How do you make peace with disappointment?
    A You don’t. You look at its message, ask God to remove its pain & fill the void, & let it go.”

  13. Avatar
    Rebecca Lorraine Walker June 21, 2018 at 9:52 am #

    Tamela,

    Awesome insight and sound advice!

  14. Avatar
    Tamela Hancock Murray June 21, 2018 at 10:18 am #

    🙂

  15. Avatar
    Christine Hagion June 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm #

    Such excellent advice. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, Tamela.

    It really does apply in many respects for Christian writers who, for one reason or another, feel mistreated by a publisher, editor, agent, or critique group member.

    Your blog shares the manner in which we can grow–if we choose to do so–by allowing the event to make us stronger.

  16. Avatar
    Janet Ann Collins June 21, 2018 at 12:51 pm #

    I haven’t held a grudge since I was a kid. Hating someone is giving them control over your mind. I recommend http://www.bullies2buddies.com to help handle problem people. It’s based on what Jesus said about turning the other cheek.

  17. Avatar
    Patti Jo Moore June 21, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

    Excellent words of wisdom, Tamela.
    Thank you! 🙂

  18. Avatar
    Nancy Golden June 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

    This is a very important topic – only by being able to forgive can we truly be free to pursue all that God has for us. I wrote a blog post that explores this topic at https://novelwrites.com/2016/04/25/forgiving-ourselves-and-forgiving-others/

    I hope it blesses you.

  19. Avatar
    David Rawlings June 22, 2018 at 5:55 pm #

    What a great topic Tamela.

    When I started out I decided that I was going to remind myself that this was a subjective game and not a personal one. That applied to competition judges, to Beta readers, and then to agents and publishers.

    It was still hard at times, but this helped to put the knockbacks and rejections into perspective. And now that I’ve signed with Steve (and now a publisher), I don’t feel the need to let go of anything. I wasn’t really carrying anything at the start.

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