3 February 2023
Bearing a grudge
Get rid of all bitterness … Ephesians 4: 31
Whoever started it, holding grudges creates barriers which, within the workplace, affect atmosphere, distort communication and damage efficiency. Sick people involved with such a system will suffer. There is grit in the machinery, but a Christian on the team could become God’s oilcan. Getting rid of bitterness will be achieved neither by taking sides nor by keeping quiet. It needs a response, not a reaction. We should pray for an opportunity, humbly and gently, to pour in the oil. A heated exchange can cause conflagration more than contrition, especially if the fault in the works is our own. Circumstances will guide us as to whether a team meeting is preferable to an individual encounter.
The doctor in charge of the duty rota realised that one of the team was openly avoiding her, so she prayed about it. Soon afterwards, when approaching a revolving door, the object of her prayers was doing so too, from the other side. They could pass each other with a glass sheet between them, or she could wait for him to emerge. An SOS prayer for grace, and they met. Using his name, with a concerned, ‘What’s the trouble?’ eased out the ‘grit’, which was a grudge about the rota’s alleged unfairness. Once expressed, release brought mutual apologies and improved relations.
Why should we, already busy, trouble with such exercises? There is an even deeper reason than improved efficiency. We should care about getting rid of destructive attitudes, including our own, because God has cared so much about repairing our broken relationship with him. It is because of God’s love that Paul urges us to repel bitterness by being ‘kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ (Ephesians 4: 32)

Read: Titus 3: 1–8.