Think about the Holocaust. Germans and many others acted like heartless savages - killing without flinching, tearing families apart, and other atrocities. Or what about the Civil Rights Movement? How many innocent people died because of the color of their skin? But what caused all of this? How could people do such things? The answer is hatred - hatred that infects our inner most being, our hearts.
Genesis 27:41 - So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father has blessed him; and Esau said [in his heart], "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.
Matthew Henry asks a very valid questions at this point: "How could he call him brother, and yet vow his death?" (Henry). With the very same breath no doubt! So I took a look at the Hebrew meaning behind the word "grudge." It means "to hate...to retain animosity against, cherish animosity against" (Strong's). This grudge became a hate that went to the root of Esau to his very heart and that is why he could speak of killing his very own flesh and blood.
Have you been holding a grudge against someone? It's easy to do. I have been struggling with one myself. I challenge you today to take a step toward fending off hatred. Let go. No matter what that person did to you, let go. Easy right? haha. *sigh* I know...it isn't easy to let go at all. Today I challenge you, write a letter to that person - the one you are holding a grudge against. Apologize for holding that grudge and ask for forgiveness. If you want to send it, great! That would be awesome. But if you don't have to send it, sometimes just getting the words on paper is one step toward letting go - tear it up, light a match and burn it, or save it until you are ready to send it. But no matter what, write it. Don't let hatred infest your heart and build a nest.
That's all for this morning's thoughts on the heart - I've got to go write a letter!
Update: I wrote my letters (yes, I had more than one) last night before I went to bed. It was very freeing and I think I may actually send them. I hope that, if you already haven't, you do this exercise as well. It was amazing what putting words on paper actually did for my heart and my conscience (which was the topic of today's blog). God is good!