Grudge Sale

When the weather gets nice (if it does where you live – here, some years are better than others), the mind of some people turns to thinking how to get rid of contents from their house, and maybe make a little money.  Whether called a Garage Sale, a Yard Sale, a Tag Sale, or something else, the informal opportunity to sell your unwanted belongings to passers-by on the street is a tradition in many communities.

Even in this modern world of online shopping and free shipping, some people leverage these sales to stock up on what they need (for very little money), find rare items that can be re-sold at a profit, or restore old goods to a refinished condition (whether for themselves, or for others).

When someone else can use belongings that you no longer want or need, it’s great to pass them on.  This reduces waste, and saves money for the recipients.  Having said that, I try to educate my kids that, 1) they shouldn’t expect to get rich from a garage sale, and 2) accumulating junk that we don’t need (just because it is cheap) isn’t a good idea, either.

On the other hand, what if, instead of getting rid of junk from an attic or our basement, we got rid of unforgiveness, hostility, and anger towards others?  We could call this a “Grudge Sale”.  Paul, in a recorded letter to the Ephesians, gives these instructions:

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Ephesians 4:31 NASB

However, unlike baby clothes or an old end table, hopefully there aren’t any other people who want to pick up these destructive habits.  (Unfortunately, I fear that some people do take on unrighteous anger from others, which isn’t helpful to anyone.)  Trying to get rid of bad habits – if we think of this as a zero-sum scenario – leaves us with an economic problem: too much supply, and insufficient demand (not that we should share these things in the first place).

Instead of giving bad habits to others, though, there is Someone who can take on our burdens…without caving in to the bad habits that we unload on Him.  The following verse talks about anxiety (or “cares”), but I believe that Jesus can similarly take all of the hostility and angst that we feel towards others, and allow us to live in forgiveness and freedom.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6‭-‬7 NASB

It seems that part of the way Jesus does this is by “out-classing” our problems.  He forgave us more than we would ever have to forgive someone else.  He loves us more than we can love anyone else.  He showed us strength in the face of temptation, beyond what any of us have endured.  He gave us the Holy Spirit, when we needed the help and guidance to do the right thing.

So, if your soul feels a little cluttered with junk that you want to get rid of, talk with Jesus, trust Him to take care of what bothers you, and have a “Grudge Sale” today!  Remember the better-known verse that follows Ephesians 4:31, and offers us a far superior alternative to carrying around those grudges.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32 NASB


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.


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