“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility . . . to reconcile both to God through the cross” (Ephesians 2:14-16).
So do you have a grudge against someone? You know, the kind where even the thought of that person turns your stomach or makes you boil inside? Maybe this person has said some things about you behind your back that really hurt. Or someone laughed at you when you made a mistake and you just can’t stand being around them anymore. Perhaps you tried out for a job or a part in a play, but this other person got the position, and they remind you of it as often as possible. Or someone can run faster or hit a ball farther or get a better grade or play an instrument more beautifully than you can, and they and all their friends turn their backs to you every time you come around. Or you and your best friend get in an argument and now you won’t speak to each other. Or your brother or sister or parent had a fight with you and you know just the way to hurt them back.
Hey, looks like a good reason for a grudge, huh?
Did you know that most people have bad things happen to them? You are probably one of them. Did you also know that most people hurt other people at some point? You are one of those, too. You have probably hurt someone and you don’t even know that they are hurt.
So does that make it right to hold a grudge? Just because other people hurt you doesn’t give you justification for being angry or hurting others. In fact, you and I and everyone else in the world have hurt ONE person far worse than we could ever be hurt by another person. That One person that we have all hurt is Jesus. Every wrong thing, every angry word, every bad attitude, every selfish thought, all of it has hurt Jesus. Jesus longs to have a deep relationship with each of us, a relationship of perfect friendship and commitment. That is why He created each of us – so that He could have fellowship with us.
But look how we act. Our sins may be against other people, but when they are against other people, they are also (and even first) against God. So our sin throws up a barrier, an impassible wall, blocking our access to the perfect friendship, commitment, and joy that we can find in a relationship with Jesus.
So does Jesus have a grudge against us? Of course not. God loves us anyway. Because sin has separated us, God made a way for us to get past the barrier. God sent his Son Jesus to die for our sin, to pay the penalty each of us owed for our sin (Romans 3:23, 6:23; 5:8). The barrier isn’t just avoided. The barrier is destroyed!Jesus is our peace.He has made it possible for us to have access to God (Ephesians 2:14-16).
Do you have peace with God? All God wants you to do is turn back to Him, turn away from trying to be good on your own, turn away from trying to be self-sufficient. You can come to God by accepting what Jesus has done for you. Put your trust in Jesus as your Savior because He is the only one who can give you eternal life and an eternal relationship with your Creator. Make peace with God today.
Already done that? Then why are you holding grudges? Why do you let the little things other people do to you eat away at you? You are forgetting the price Jesus paid to deliver you from your sin. No grudge is worth holding on to when you remember how much Jesus has forgiven you. Make peace with those around you. Forgive them when they hurt you. Be sure you ask for forgiveness when you hurt someone else. Your relationship with Jesus suffers each time you sin (1 John 1:6-9). Confess your sin to God, make things right with the person, and thank God that His grace is sufficient for every mistake we make. Make peace with someone today.
Read Ephesians 2:11-18. What part will you play in making peace with those around you? Use Philippians 4:6-9 as a guide for your attitudes toward others.