Thursday, February 14, 2013

Grudge holding

Six Goals of Satan in Getting You to Hold Grudges

Perhaps it starts with hurt feelings over what was said, another’s actions, or even a lack of response. We mull it over, and over. It festers in our gut. Our spirit can be crushed. We can get hard feelings about the person that we feel offended us. Perhaps those hurt want to get “even” at the other person. Before long, hurt feelings can lead to a host of other actions, including slander against the offending person, or avoidance of that person.

The hurt accomplished may not even be recognized by the offender. They may not even have a clue as to how one is reacting to their remarks or actions; yet the offendee’s bitterness digs deeper and deeper into their life.
Holding a grudge against another can be so devastating to some that it affects their health. Anger can be a result of bitterness. When angry, adrenaline and other hormones are released into the bloodstream, causing high blood pressure and a faster beating heart. Depression, ulcers, heart attack, and stroke have also been linked to those that are controlled by the stress of bitterness and unforgiveness. Not forgiving, and not attempting to forget the offense, can also lead people to do or say things to the offender that they would never think of doing or saying.

A) Personal Story

1) 1. To Make Us Put Ourselves in the Place of God
Ever since Genesis 3 Satan's goal has been to make us put ourselves in the place of God. "When you eat of the fruit of the tree your eyes will be opened and you will be like God." Nothing helps in holding a grudge like thinking too highly of ourselves. The more exalted we are in our own eyes, the more justified we will feel in holding a grudge against the person who offended us. If Satan can succeed in making a grudge feel natural or justified, he will have gone a long way toward his goal of making us put ourselves in the place of God.

2. To Make Us Act as If We Are Judge, Not God
Satan aims to make us act as if we were judge and not GodRomans 12:19 says, "Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to wrath, for it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. No, if your enemy is hungry feed him." If we hold a grudge, we act as though God were not a just judge. We act as though we are the moral guardians of the world and if we don't hold this wrong against this person, it's going to slip away into oblivion and a great injustice will go unrequited. But this is sheer unbelief. Vengeance belongs to God. He will repay. It is his business not ours. So again holding a grudge puts us in the place of God—just where Satan wants us.

3. To Make the Cross of Christ Look Weak and Foolish
Satan aims to make the cross of Christ look weak and foolish. Notice Ephesians 4:32–5:2. "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us." The power that frees us from holding grudges is that in the cross of Christ God satisfied his grudge against us and dropped it. So Paul says, forgive as God in Christ forgave you. When we hold a grudge, we cancel out the cross. We act as though God did a foolish thing on the cross, since he dropped his infinite grudge against us, but we are going to hold on to our little grudge against so and so. And thus Satan brings the cross of Christ into contempt.

4. To Cultivate Disunity in the Body of Christ
Satan aims to cultivate disunity in the body of Christ so that the grand evidence for Christ's divine reality is shattered. Proverbs 15:18 says, "A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention." Short tempers and long grudges breed strife and disunity in the church. But in John 17:23 Jesus said that unity in the church is a great evidence to the world of his reality. So if Satan can preserve and deepen grudges among God's people, he will have achieved a great goal—the hiding of Christ's reality from the world.

5. To Crush Broken Christians into Depression
Satan aims to crush broken Christians until they are depressed into uselessness. Paul tells about an instance of church discipline at Corinth in which the offending party repented. Paul counsels in 2 Corinthians 2:7, "So you should turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you reaffirm your love for him." The burdens of life are so great at times that someone's grudge against us can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. You can destroy a person by holding a grudge against them—the very work of Satan from the time of Cain and Abel.

    6. To Help You Destroy Yourself
    Finally, by holding a grudge Satan will help you destroy yourself. Satan always throws away his tools in the end. He promises the moon and delivers misery. When the unforgiving servant was thrown into jail, Jesus said to his disciples, "So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

How did I get here?

A) Pair/Share
    1) Identify a situation of an offense.________________________________________________
      1. How did you handle it? ___________________________________________________

3) What did you do to resolve it?___________________________________________ _

* When we speak, we speak out of what is in our hearts.
Matt. 12:34 is where Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

Time + Relationship = Influence

How do you do that? Our Savior fought off temptation with scriptures. That is the only remedy for any battle. When the thought enters your mind, repeat a verse, hopefully one that is about the sin you are tempted with and quote it repeatedly.
A) The First Temptation
Satan tried to place doubt in the mind of Jesus with the words "If you are the Son of God." Matthew shows that the devil came at the end of Jesus' fast.

The Trap
The real peril lay in Satan's proposed reason for creating bread. That reason being "If you are the Son of God." Satan was challenging Christ's credentials.

Jesus immediately perceived the real danger, and responded with a passage from Deuteronomy 8:3. But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" - Matthew 4:4

B) The Second Temptation
Satan took Jesus to Jerusalem to stand on the temple. There Satan challenged Jesus to throw himself down.

Satan quotes scripture
Having lost the first challenge, Satan appeals to scripture by quoting Psalm 91:11-12. When isolated from other passages, this proposal seems reasonable. If Jesus were God's Son, then scripture promised to save Him.

Jesus Responds
Deceptively, Satan tried inciting Jesus to test the Scripture. Jesus addressed the real issue by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. Jesus said to him, "On the other hand it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" - Matthew 4:7

C) The Third Temptation
Since no mountain stands high enough to view all the world's kingdoms, it's likely that Satan exercised some supernatural power to show Christ "all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time" (Luke 4:5).

Satan's authority
Jesus did not question Satan's authority to grant the world's kingdoms. Bear in mind, however, that Jesus did not directly address Satan's apparent deceptions in the first two temptations. Either Satan possessed this authority, or he was validating his reputation as "the father of lies" (John 8:44). In either case, Satan's authority was not the issue. His suggestion violated the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3).

Jesus Responds
Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only

Action Plan

  1. Recognize the temptation holding a grudge
  1. Utilize God's Word for guidance and strength
  2. Respond through Christ.

It is hard to harbor thoughts of darkness and sin, when your mind is flooded with light!

John 8:12"Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”