Grudges and Forgiveness

Recently, a little drama went down in my chemistry class. I guess you could say things got a little explosive (insert that little drum sound effect that happens after punchlines here). I’m sorry. I’m aware that I’m bad at jokes, and I’ll try to steer clear of them in the future. Anyways, I’m going to give you a heads-up that for anyone no longer in high school, this story will seem completely trivial. But these things are a big deal to us teenagers.

We had this group project in chemistry class. It was pretty simple- do some research on a topic off of a list, write up a presentation, make a poster-board, etc. We all had partners, so it wasn’t technically a group project, I suppose. Anyways, I’m… really smart, and everyone knows it. I’ve learned to dread group projects because I’m that person that is constantly taken advantage of when it comes to them. But because I’m also a bit of a pushover, I usually comply and let the rest of my group take the credit for the work I’ve done. 

I thought this time would be different. My partner was actually my sort-of-friend, a guy who I also happened to have a bit of a crush on. He told me he would do his fair share of work. Long story short, he didn’t. And he lied to me on multiple occasions about his ‘crazy schedule’ to get out of doing work (in case you’re wondering how I knew he was lying, his Instagram story was being constantly updated with him saying how bored he was). Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the whole trivial thing. I’m aware.

The reason I got so upset was that I actually trusted this guy to do some work, and I ended up having to do literally the entire project on my own. I talked to my parents and they advised me to privately tell my teacher about it. I guess they were as tired of me having to do all the work as I was. I did tell my teacher, and consequently my partner got a lower grade than I did.

I was sort of satisfied, but I realized that I was holding a serious grudge (for a pretty stupid reason, I should add). I mean, I was a little head-over-heels for this guy and he turned out to be kind of a jerk, so I can sort of see why I was upset. But the grudge was lasting too long. And I tried to tell myself that I could forgive him, but I couldn’t. I’m pretty good at holding grudges, but it isn’t a skill I pride myself on.

So I prayed. I asked God to soften my heart and release this grudge that was slowly turning me into a bitter person. And He did. My partner has not apologized to me; actually, he hasn’t said a word to me since the presentation, which was over a month ago. But the grudge is no longer there, and my heart is open to forgive him.

I want to encourage anyone who may be holding a grudge- whether it’s trivial or truly significant- to ask God to soften your heart. Nothing good can come from grudges; they only eat away at you. God calls us to forgive, and forgiveness does a world of good.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

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