January 29, 2013
READ: Romans 12:12-21
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord (Leviticus 19:18).
During a promotional event, two 73 year old former football stars got into a fistfight on stage. They had a ‘beef’ (a grudge or feud between friends, family members or enemies) dating back to a controversial football game in November 1963. After one of the senior citizens knocked the other off the stage, the crowd yelled at him to “let it go!” In essence, they were telling him to ‘squash the beef’.
The Bible is riddled with examples of people ‘beefing’. Cain held a grudge against his brother Abel, because God accepted Abel’s offering over his. This grudge was so severe that it eventually led to murder (Genesis 4:4-8). Esau held a grudge against Jacob because Jacob stole the birthright that was rightfully his (27:41). The wronged brother’s grudge was so intense that it caused Jacob to run for his life in fear. Joseph’s brothers held a grudge against him because he was favoured and more deeply loved by their father Jacob. Their grudge led to intense hatred and would have led to murder, had it not been averted by one of the brothers (37:18-20). Joseph’s brothers were so controlled by fear and guilt that they assumed he would hold a grudge and exact revenge against them for selling him into slavery (50:15). In each of these cases a person or persons had a persistent feeling of ill will against another—the lingering effects of injury or insult.
Not only is the Bible littered with examples of people who held grudges, it’s also replete with instructions on how to ‘squash the beef’. God instructs His people to love (Leviticus 19:18), pray for and forgive people who insult and injure (Romans 12:14), live peaceably with all people (v.18), leave revenge to God (v.19) and overcome evil with good (v.21). —Marvin Williams
Read Genesis 33:1-20 and jot down some lessons from two people who squashed the beef.
Have you ever held a grudge? Against who and for what? How did you resolve the issue? How does squashing your beefs bring glory to God?