A friend told me about a party she and her grandmother attended. The grandmother had been chatting for some time with a relative. Suddenly the elderly lady came up short: “I shouldn’t be talking to her. I’m mad at her!”
“Why, what did she do to you?” asked my friend.
After a long pause, her grandmother admitted, “I can’t remember!”
Like my friend’s grandmother, many of us have a chip on our shoulder from a hurt that has never healed–a tight band around the heart that constricts the flow of love–a caustic acid that eats into a relationship until little is left of what once brought joy.
I wonder why we hold on to hurts. Maybe because we actually enjoy mulling over how right we were and how wrong the other person was. Perhaps the person has never asked for forgiveness, so we reason that we aren’t obligated to forgive until she does.
Usually, though, we hold on to hurts because of pride. “Why should I go to her? It was her fault! If I approach her first, it means I’m admitting I was wrong—and I wasn’t!” Scripture is plain, however, about who should make the first move. Jesus said, “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault.”
You really have nothing to lose—and a lot to gain! First, you may regain a relationship with that person. Jesus said, “If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back” (Matthew 18:15, NLT). Second, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done what God wants you to do. Third, you may give someone else the courage to follow your example.
That chip on the shoulder–settle it once and for all. If you do, no longer will your conscience remind you of unfinished business.