21 Bible Verses about Holding Grudges


Have you ever felt guilty about holding a grudge? Guilt is one of those emotions that often keeps us from moving on. Letting go of past issues is difficult, but we can’t dwell on the past.

Bible Verses about Holding grudges

When you hold on to a grudge, you are not showing the grace and love Christ has for you. Christians are called to forgive others, but we should also be willing to forgive ourselves.

In these 21 Bible verses about holding grudges, Jesus teaches us that this greatness starts from within and in how we treat others.

Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let go of all bitterness.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV 

Ephesians 4_31-32

In this passage,  Paul encourages us to stop holding grudges by letting go of all the bitterness and malice in our hearts and forgiving one another.

Unbelievably, forgiveness benefits us more than it does the offender. Yes, we must forgive them, but when we do, the burden of our resentment, resentment, bitterness, wrath, and unforgiveness is lifted. In other words, forgiveness removes the great weight and load from our hearts.

We are commanded to treat one another with kindness and tenderness. To put it another way, we should demonstrate the love of Christ that resides inside us by showing unconditional forgiveness to one another.

Proverbs 19:11 – It positively reflects on us when we ignore transgressions.

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 19:11 ESV

Proverbs 19_11

How can we move past incidents where others intentionally or unintentionally harm us in a world of nasty social media methods and more? Instead of harboring resentments, it is good for us to overlook transgressions.

Weaknesses in ourselves that we probably weren’t even aware existed are revealed as we strive to forgive others fully. According to God’s Word, it is a positive reflection on us when we ignore transgressions.

Not because other people aren’t upsetting us, but rather because we aren’t allowing it into our lives; godly treatment of offense also aids us in experiencing it less and less.

Matthew 6:14-15 – If we cannot forgive others, how can we ever ask God to forgive us?

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15 ESV

Matthew 6_14-15

How can we ever ask God to forgive us if we cannot forgive others? We lose God’s blessing that comes with forgiving others when we harbor resentments and refuse to forgive. To spread forgiveness, we have to be ignored.
Our everyday knowledge of God’s grace should encourage us to forgive others before we beg for our forgiveness, thus restarting the forgiveness cycle in our own lives.
Another indication that we are God’s children who yearn to set people free from their sins and shower them with grace is our desire to forgive and bless others.

Ephesians 4:26 – How crucial it is to control all forms of rage.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

Ephesians 4:26 ESV

Ephesians 4_26

There are times when Christians should express righteous anger in a way that glorifies the Lord. Anger is not always a sin, and not all anger is wrong. However, when not dealt with biblically, the enemy can transform legitimate anger into sin or escalate fleshly wrath into a more serious offense.

It is crucial to control all forms of rage, and it is best to give up fleshly fever before it rots. To honor the Lord in thought, word, deed, motivation, and emotions, we may “keep short accounts” when managing our wrath and be prepared to resolve concerns immediately.

Ephesians 4:31 – Bitterness can harm us.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Ephesians 4:31 ESV

Ephesians 4_31

When we allow bitterness to fester in our hearts, it can become a deadly volcano that erupts with toxic venom, harming both ourselves and those around us.

We are told to cast off every kind of malice, including resentment, fury, anger, brawling, and slander. We are urged to treat one another with kindness and compassion and to forgive one another just as God did for you through Christ.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Anger is concealed in the hearts of fools.

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 ESV

Ecclesiastes 7_9

The Bible is clear that anger is concealed in the hearts of fools. Anger can be expressed in various ways, from silent disdain or the simmering of a secret grudge to an explosion of expletives or the eruption of outrageous behavior.

During our time here on earth, let us strive to avoid all evil, lead holy lifestyles, and refrain from the unjustified rage that dwells in the minds of fools.

Leviticus 19:18 – God will not permit his people to harbor hatred.

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:18 ESV 

Leviticus 19_18

The destruction of one’s heart and soul results from holding a grudge. That kind of hatred is not intended to be carried by men or women without hurting us from the inside out.

God will not permit his people to harbor hate, including grudges. We are urged to love others instead. Love those who have wronged us because it frees us from the misery of hatred and rage and turns those people over to God’s justice.

James 1:19-20 – Be quick to hear the words of wisdom.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James 1:19-20 ESV 

James 1_19-20

In life, we make the mistake of responding hastily and carelessly to the words and deeds of others by opening our mouths. We also make the mistake of reacting angrily and harboring grudges, only to find out later that we misunderstood the situation and that we should not have spoken or responded in such a hasty manner.

We need to be quick to hear the words of wisdom that come from the Scriptures and to be wise in our response to God’s message if we want our words and deeds to produce the righteousness of our Father.

Proverbs 15:1 – Words have the power to help and heal.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1 ESV

Proverbs 15_1

Words have the power to help and heal, and they can offer inspiration and hope. When “pouring oil on troubled waters” or defusing a situation that may quickly turn into a major fight, wise and courteous words are a very effective tool.

The messages we convey through our words and actions should be done with grace and love, as well as in spirit and truth if this message is implemented in our lives, what a difference the Church would make in the world.

James 4:1 – Only Jesus can save us.

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?

James 4:1 ESV 

James 4_1

The sad fact is that our selves, just as they were then, are where resentments and hatred originate inside the Body of Christ (the Church).

The fundamental cause of such confrontations is all too frequently one’s inner thirst for one’s pleasures, possessions, power, and pharisaical hypocrisy.

The only one who can deliver us from this body of sin, death, and its grip on us is Jesus Christ.

In addition to paying the price for our sins, He also destroyed the power of sin in our life, and He has promised His grace is enough to overcome any challenges we may have while here in this fleshly body.

Psalm 37:8-9 – Is it worthwhile to hold on to the pain?

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Psalm 37:8-9 ESV

Life entails a great deal of grief, rejection, misunderstanding, anger, and occasionally even rage. People deceive us, betray us, hurt us with their words and occasionally with their deeds, reject us, and sometimes even deny us.

Regardless of who may have injured or hurt you, the question is: Is it worthwhile to hold on to the pain?

Don’t let your thoughts serve as a place where you replay wrongdoings and injuries from the past. Don’t let the site where the harm was done constantly recur in your memory. Avoid being destroyed by your rage by learning to control it.

Bible Verses about Forgiveness and Holding Grudges

Forgiveness is something that is an essential virtue that we should all have. It has been said that we may forgive others while holding a grudge against them or even remember the wrong they did to us, but we cannot forget what they did to us.

We’ll look at some of these Bible verses in more detail and explain their meaning.

Colossians 3:13

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Colossians 3:13 ESV

Since being unforgiving can lead to various ungodly reactions, including anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, and other ungodly responses, all of which Paul cautioned against earlier in this chapter, we are to forgive one another generously, unreservedly, and without holding grudges.

Forgiveness urges those of you who are still holding on to it because of past wrongdoings to let go and move on because a heart that forgives is a heart that lives free from the past. Given that Christ died for us even though we were still sinners, God’s loving patience and abundant forgiveness should be reflected in how we treat one another.

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Mark 11:25 ESV 

Our un-forgiveness blocks our prayers from being answered. So now the question becomes, Is this person, is this hurt and pain and disappointment worth my prayers not being answered? It’s not about anyone else but you.

The power is in your hands. Unless we forgive freely, it shows that we have no consciousness of the grace we have received, and so it shows that we expect to be heard on our own merits, which cannot be.

This is not an arbitrary refusal by God to forgive us. By our unforgiving spirit, we have made it impossible to accept God’s forgiveness since we refuse to imitate Him. Does the question now become, do we continue holding grudges? Do we continue not to be forgiven by God because we won’t ignore them?

Matthew 5:23-24

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:23-24 ESV 

As it depends on you, try to make amends if you realize that someone is upset with you because you wronged them this week. Humble yourself. Reach out.

Even though Jesus did everything, a human could make peace with his adversaries, even though he never sinned. Let us try to imitate Jesus and live in harmony with all men.

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 ESV 

The topic of forgiveness is one that our loving God values much. We should also pay particular attention to forgiveness because it is one of the holy garments with which we have been clad and attired.

Why does forgiveness provide such a challenge for some people? Why does it seem more straightforward to let the seeds of resentment fester in our hearts than to bring ourselves low, beg for pardon, and extend forgiveness to those who have harmed or hurt us?

We should strive to be people who are quick to ask for forgiveness and quick to forgive to honor our loving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8 ESV

Peter deeply loves his Lord, and the seasoned apostle exhorts us to let love be the overarching value in our lives. Peter was also aware of the astounding grace and absolute serenity that came with sins being atoned for.

Since our loving God has covered, cleansed, and forever pardoned the heinous crimes that have stained our souls, shouldn’t we strive to emulate His tender-hearted pardoning and passionate love toward our fellow Christians? Given that Christ’s love is sufficient to atone for our sins, shouldn’t we place fervent love for one another above all else?

Colossians 3:8

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Colossians 3:8 ESV

We shouldn’t join in this verse’s expression of unjustified rage. Similarly, we should refrain from unholy anger, which connotes an improper vocal outburst loaded with malice and grudges. We are to show forgiveness and let go of our grievances.

May we strive to remove everything that denigrates the Lord. May we always speak truthfully and honestly? May we always say in a good and holy manner? May we live lives that honor our heavenly Father by telling the truth in love and speaking it.

Matthew 5:44-45

 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Matthew 5:44-45 NIV

Here, Christ instructs us on the four things we must do to treat our enemies with respect: “love,” “bless,” “do good,” and “pray for” them. It is “so that we may be the children of our Father which is in heaven” that we love, bless, do good for, and pray for our enemies. Only in Jesus Christ can one find blessing.

We so bless our enemies by leading them to Christ and urging them to repent and believe. We demonstrate that we are the children of our heavenly Father. He bestows blessings on both the just and the unjust by loving, accepting, acting kindly toward, and praying for our adversaries.

Romans 12:21

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:21 ESV

One of the essential tenets of the Christian religion is the commandment to triumph over evil with good. It is reassuring to know that God has provided us with a reason and a strategy for resisting evil so we won’t succumb to it. Nothing evil can prevail over us.

If someone does us harm, we are to bless them in return. Forgiveness is the first step, and the second is to express blessings and love toward them while speaking and acting with kindness, as this will finally drive evil back through the gates of hell.

Romans 12:14

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Romans 12:14 ESV

Because of who we are in Christ, we are to live in peace. We won’t succeed because conviction elicits the same adverse reactions in others as pride, fear, and attitudes. We must work for peace despite the possibility that we won’t achieve it.

The truth will unite and divide people alike. One of the things we need to do is constantly remind ourselves of how much God has blessed and pardoned us despite how hateful we can be. It would also be wise to remember how we desire the kindness and forgiveness of those we have offended.

Stephen prayed for his persecutors. As they were stoning him to death, Jesus also prayed for those who nailed him on the cross, so we are called to bless and pray for those who hurt us.

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 10:12 ESV 

The opposites of love and hate are also the opposites of their outcomes. Of course, Christians are commanded to love everyone, including our adversaries. Knowing that Christ died to set us free from all evil is a great blessing that sets us free from hatred.

We must love to “do what is right.” We will uphold God’s law when we can love rather than hate. Jesus declared that the two commandments to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself” encompass the entirety of the law.

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