Posted by: Jo | February 8, 2013

Banishing the Grudging Heart

“Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord Your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)

Camel through the eye of a needleHave you noticed how many words in the English language mean exactly how they sound? Some of them I call the ugly words. “Sludge” is one of them. When one says it a mental picture of gooey, messy not readily identifiable mixture, lying in the bottom of a receptacle, springs to mind. The word “slime” is not far behind. We hate to investigate that peculiar semi liquid that somehow is now residing in the back of the cupboard under the sink. “Slither” slips off the tongue with a shiver and suits that peculiar movement that only a snake can make with perfection, but what tops the list of my ugly words is the word “grudge”. Even to say the word our lips seem to form a mean spirited down turn of the mouth. When we talk about people “carrying a grudge”, the picture quickly springs to mind of somebody with a big ugly burden bowed down with the weight of what they are carrying and yet holding on fiercely.

We use another form of the word to describe how actions can be marred by attitude. For example, “He grudgingly agreed we were right.

Recently I was discussing with friends how when we were small, praise was used sparingly with children so they would not become spoilt. One of our friends made us all laugh with her story of her brother-in-law who ended every meal by saying, “That wasn’t bad.” His poor wife could turn herself inside out to prepare a lovely meal, but the praise always came in the same grudging way.

Scripture entreats us not to have a grudging heart. (Deuteronomy 15:10)

How do we take that ugly word out of our everyday living? Perhaps we could start with how we praise people. Are we stingy (there is another of those ugly words) with how we acknowledge the successes of others? The work place is often rife with peopleTaking Money holding grudges about how others have been more successful in their jobs. Getting rid of grudging hearts would certainly improve the atmosphere of the office. Are we gracious with our praise of our spouses, our children, our friends? It has been documented that children who are rarely praised don’t do well in school or later in life. Do we remember to praise our pastors, our teachers, and our police force? Praise given ungrudgingly smoothes many a situation.

We can be grudging in other areas of our lives. Do we give our time grudgingly? Are we so preoccupied with ourselves that we are unwilling to devote time to play with our kids, visit a shut-in, check on a neighbor? Do we resent the time given to worshipping on a Sunday morning and do so grudgingly? How much time do we give to just listening to someone? Not impatiently waiting for the person to finish, but genuinely caring about what is being said.

The big one probably is our money. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 it says,

“….God loves a cheerful giver”

Certainly we give when we are embarrassed into it, but how do we learn to give with that cheerful heart, to give with a grateful heart, to give abundantly without grudging a penny of it. EncourageJesus told us we would always have the poor with us and it is to our shame that that is true today. Do we find ourselves begrudging what is given to programs for the poor?

When we remove all the grudging attitudes from our lives God is able to fill our hearts with his joy and we will be blessed by him and echo these words.

“I was filled with delight day after day. Rejoicing always in his presence. Rejoicing in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind” (Proverbs 8:30 – 31)

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Responses

  1. Thanks Jo – encouraging and convicting!

    Like

  2. Thanks Jo. You and Pooh are such good ambassadors for our Lord.

    Like

  3. such good reminders Jo of how important it is to think before we speak.
    The old saying comes to mind , If you don’t have anything good to say…don’t say anything. Once spoken can often never be forgotten!
    Even something said in jest can be hurtfull
    How I love your writng Jo !!!

    Like

  4. Such a good reminder. To be filled with delight day after day is a great goal. Rejoicing in all things. I so appreciate your posts and look forward to them every Friday.

    Like


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