Growing up, I was an extreme klutz. In middle school, I was always tripping over my feet and running into things. It was truly pathetic. In the eighth grade, the bane of my existence was THE TROPHY CASE OF DEATH. The trophy case was fastened about five feet from the floor, and it was about a foot wide. Whenever I came out of my fourth-period class, I would inevitably run right into it. I think my shoulder was black and blue from August all the way through May.
I’m not sure why I had such a problem with that AWFUL trophy case—I knew it was there—I just couldn’t seem to avoid it. At the prompting of one of my friends, I even tied a ribbon around my finger to remind me to watch my step. You would think the ribbon would help, but it didn’t. Regardless of the string around my finger, every day I’d leave class and WHAM! That GHASTLY trophy case always caught me by surprise, and it always knocked me for a loop.
Down through the years, I’ve thought about that silly trophy case on several occasions, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it shows I have “blind spots.” You see, I KNEW the trophy case was there, but I kept forgetting the danger until I hurt myself. Spiritually, I occasionally do the same thing—especially when it comes to anger and offense. I know that getting upset at people is a HUGE trap. I know that holding a grudge ALWAYS destroys my peace. For my own wellbeing, I MUST avoid feeling offended!!
That’s not always easy for me. In fact, sometimes it’s just plain hard.
Unfortunately, God doesn’t call us to do what’s EASY—He calls us to do what’s RIGHT. And what’s right is to give people the benefit of the doubt, to forgive quickly, to avoid the obsessive need for extracting apologies, and to practice the beautiful art of forgetting.
In the eighth grade, my life would’ve been much easier if I’d remembered to watch out for the trophy case of death. And today, my life is ALWAYS easier if I remember not to hold a grudge.
“If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27
“Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13