Thursday, January 6, 2011


Recently I was reading from the Max Lucado book, The Applause Of Heaven, and the following passage really captured my attention.

Grudge is one of those words that defines itself. Its very sound betrays its meaning.

Say it slowly: “Grr-uuuud-ge.”

It starts with a growl. “Grr …” Like a bear with bad breath coming out of hibernation or a mangy mongrel defending his bone in an alley. “Grrr …”

Remove a GR from the word grudge and replace it with SL and you have the junk that grudge bearers trudge through. Sludge. Black, thick, ankle-deep resentment that steals the bounce from the step. No joyful skips through the meadows. No healthy hikes up the mountain. Just day after day of walking into the storm, shoulders bent against the wind, and feet dragging through all the muck life has delivered.

Is this the way you are coping with your hurts? Are you allowing your hurts to turn into hates? If so, ask yourself: Is it working? Has your hatred done you any good? Has your resentment brought you any relief, any peace? Has it granted you any joy?

Let’s say you get even. Let’s say you get him back. Let’s say she gets what she deserves. Let’s say your fantasy of fury runs its ferocious course and you return all your pain with interest. Imagine yourself standing over the corpse of the one you have hated. Will you now be free?

Max's words made me think of the time that I was going Geocaching in Tyler, Texas. If you are not familiar with Geocaching, It is a modern day treasure hunt powered by a GPS. I had found the geocache that I was searching for, and was finding my way back to my car when I got a bit lost. I had forgotten to put the coordinates of my cars location in the GPS, so I was just trying to remember my way back through the woods. I came into a brushy clearing and was trying to decide which way to go. There was an area that looked a bit wet and muddy, so I stepped carefully across it to avoid getting my shoes dirty. Imagine my surprise when the "solid" ground gave way, and I sank up to my armpits in stinky mucky quicksand. At first I was just angry that I was filthy, but then I started trying to get out and realized that I was in a serious predicament. Fortunately I was able to reach a small shrub than was strong enough for me to pull myself out.

I was now on the opposite side of the quicksand from where I needed to be and was trying to decide how to proceed. I layed out spread eagle and "swam" to the other side. It wasn't until I thought back on the experience as I was driving back to the condo that it dawned on me how much trouble I had actually been in. I was by myself, and my wife had no idea where I was. I never saw another person while I was out in the woods. As I was driving back I gave a special prayer of thanks to God for keeping me safe.

This is what I looked like after I got out.

Holding a grudge is a lot like being in quicksand. When we hold a grudge, we just can't seem to get out of it's grasp. The more we think about it and struggle with it the more we sink, and the deeper we go. I really think that the only way we can get ourselves out of the quicksand of holding a grudge is through the power of God. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:26,27 "Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.

Don't give the Devil a mighty foothold by holding a grudge.


  1. OMG...I can't believe you got into such trouble...Thanks God you were able to pull yourself out holding on that small green shrub...and yes you are right about holding the must learn to forgive and move is the only Godly thing to do...If God didn't forgive us our sins, then where would be be today...therefore we must follow his example and forgive those who have in some way or another, knowingly or unknowingly hurt us in some way or another. Amen
    Glad you are safe my friend.

  2. Good grief! Thank goodness you didn't sink right to the bottom, praise the Lord. I probably would - so fat and so heavy... Muahahahaha!!!

  3. An interesting post. what scary and frightening experience. praise God indeed, that you mad eit out of there.
    Thank you for your visits to my blog. It has been good to catch up here after a long absence.

    A Happy New Year for you and your family.

  4. What a scary quicksand adventure but from what I have read, you did everything right. You really were up to your armpits weren't you.
    As for grudges, I am just too lazy a person to carry one. It takes too much energy to lug one around.
    Wonderful message Richie.

  5. If that is the effect of quicksand, I'll stay away from grudges :-)

  6. Great post about grudges.

    I'm a geocacher myself ("Yogiabb") and although I've never been in quicksand I've had several thoughts about, "you know, if something happened to me here I would be in some real deep doodoo because nobody has anybody where I am right now" and where I am could be way out in the woods somewhere.

  7. Wonderful analogy, Richard. I'm happy you had enough strength to pull out, and enough savvy to know how to get back across. God was looking out for you that day.

  8. Let me join with the others in being glad you survived quicksand! That is one experience not many can claim, "Been there, done that"....definitely not on my bucket list.

    We have a great and merciful God, don't we?

  9. Let's just replace the "gr" with "f"!

    Kidding aside, great analogy.

  10. I hear you! Grudges are toxic. Gentle caution is another thing....