Grievances

Grievances

Selected

Have you never had a grievance —a real, substantial grievance? Were you never wronged in pocket or reputation? Were you never wounded in the house of your friends? Has no Christian brother ever treated you unjustly or unkindly? Will they neither admit it, confess it, or repair it? Well now, you have a grievance: a fair, legitimate, honest grievance. You have solid ground for complaint. Now what do you do with your grievance? Do you nurse it? Do you brood over it? Do you press it close to your bosom to keep it warm? Do you listen to its cries and complaints? And do you feed it that it may thrive and grow and get stronger and stronger?

Be honest with yourself, and see how matters really stand between the Lord and your soul. Do you not find that this overgrown child which you so carefully nurse, which is scarcely ever out of your arms and never out of your mind, is secretly draining away the life of your soul? Where is your patience, your forbearance, your broken contrite heart, your submission to the will of God, your brotherly love, your meekness and quietness, your forgiving spirit, your Godly fear of displeasing the Lord by hating your brother, your obedience to the Gospel precepts?

You have been wronged, grievously wronged; well, all the more reason why you should show the Christian spirit by forgiving those who have wronged you. Will you never forgive? Will you go down to the grave in your unforgiving spirit? Will you nurse your child till, like a spoilt child, he becomes your master, and ends in robbing you of all you possess worth having? Do you not see how lean you are getting? Do you not find how barren your soul is, what little access you have to God in prayer, what little enjoyment of His presence and smiles of His face? But why all this darkness? Is there not a cause? Do not these increase the more you brood over your wrongs? And should not this lead you to fear lest you be holding an enemy of God in your bosom?

Could you see your real case, you would find that you are nursing enmity, pride and self-righteousness; that you are walking contrary to the precepts of the Gospel; and that you are acting against the mind and example of Christ who forgave His murderers.