How far would any of us get if God dealt with us the way we deal with others?
Sometimes, when I am at a vulnerable point in my life, I look back at a situation I could have handled differently and I beg God not to do unto me as I have done unto Him. Even if I felt justified in taking a certain action against someone, there are those times when I know I could have done what I had to do in a kinder, more gentle way.
I am always amazed when I meet people who do not speak to a member of their own family because of differences they cannot (or will not) reconcile. Can you imagine if God decided not listen to us anymore because of our numberless offenses against Him? Where would we go?
Sometimes, our punishment for vindictiveness toward others is a temporal one. We pay the consequences of our hastiness or a thoughtless reaction. I am thinking of a family member who made an impending divorce that much uglier by taking a drastic but destructive action for which they must now make restitution. Had they allowed the natural progression of events to occur, they would not be looking at court-ordered reimbursement to someone they cannot tolerate.
What is the driving force behind these kinds of division? Pride. Too proud to apologize. Too proud to take the first step. Too proud to take a chance in the event that steps toward reconciliation will be rejected. Too proud to do the right thing because of the risk that it will be seen as a weakness. We have to have the upper hand. We have to win at all costs. We have to get the last word.
A grudge weighs down our very soul. It is the antithesis of God's mercy. If you are carrying one, lay it down at His feet. He will know what to do with it, just as He knows what to do with us.