Sometimes It Takes A Murder To Satisfy A Grudge
Ed and I have different opinions about holding a grudge. I see holding a grudge as dangerous to our well-being. Ed says that everyone has a right to hold a grievance, some resentment, some bitterness, some displeasure, maybe some hard feelings, and even a bit of hatred because of what another person has done to them. I agree that people can hurt us, anger us, saddened us, embarrass us, etc. We may hold unto our hurt, anger, or abuse as a grudge. Yet, a grievance can poison our thinking and actions.
Some folks tend to be more inclined to be holders of grudges than others. Holding a grudge against another person can quickly become a desire to get even with the person who offended us. Being a grudge holder may mean we act vindictively to another. It can even lead to an act of murder as it did in the Bible.
There we are told of a woman called Herodias who took her grudge all the way against the prophet, John the Baptist. John spoke out against the marriage of the ruler Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, to Herodias, his brother Philip’s ex-wife. Herod imprisoned John for publicly criticizing his marriage, yet Herod, as ruler, feared and protected John in prison. He saw John as an outspoken prophet for righteousness and holiness. Herod liked to listen to John, although John puzzled him.
Herod still had respect for John the Baptist, but his wife Herodias did not respect John, for she nursed and grew a grudge that wanted to see John killed. When we hold a grudge, we may forget God calls us to forgive those that sin against us or hurt us. We are to forgive, especially our enemies. Herodias hardened herself in her resentment towards John, waiting for an opportunity to satisfy her grudge against him. She jumped at the chance to get her revenge against John using her daughter.
The daughter of Herodias danced before Herod and his guests at his birthday banquet. She pleased Herod and his guests. Herod as the king said to her, “Ask me for whatever you want, and I’ll give it to you.”
When her daughter asked Herodias what she should ask the king for, Herodias told her to ask for the head of John the Baptist. Her daughter asked the king for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Although distressed at her request, the king granted it because he had promised the girl anything in front of his guests.
John the Baptist was beheaded. His head was brought to the daughter of Herodias on a platter, and she gave it to her mother. (Mark 6:14-29) Did the head of John satisfy Herodias for long? Many would argue that revenge is more than satisfying and that others need to get what they deserve. The age-old question remains will we hold a grudge and seek revenge or forgive those who offend us?
Jesus teaches in his word, “Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (Luke 11:4) Forgive each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32