Doing Life Together

BFS_Anger_LGA grudge involves holding resentment because of some real or imagined wrong. A grudge develops when you don’t like the way a conflict ended. Nursing a grudge can lead to revenge. Consider the story of John the Baptist in Mark 6 of the Bible.

Herod was a tetrarch under the Roman Empire. He fell in love with his brother’s wife, Heriodias, who was also his niece. Herodias agreed to marry Herod if he would divorce his first wife. Talk about family conflict!

John the Baptist was a rather outspoken prophet who criticized Herod for this marriage. Herod wasn’t happy about the judgment and imprisoned John. He would have killed John but was afraid of how the people would respond to the killing of one of their prophets. Herod wanted to avoid an uprising.

Herodias was angry that John called her marriage unlawful. She held this against John and nursed the grudge. She was so angry that she looked for an opportunity to have John killed.

In the story, Herod has a birthday party. Herodias’s daughter dances and pleases the tetrarch. Because Herod was so pleased, he tells the daughter to ask anything she likes and he will give it to her. Having been coached by her mother, the daughter asks for the head of John the Baptist, thus securing her mother’s revenge. This biblical story would have ended differently had Herod listened to the truth, accepted responsibility, and repented. Instead, a grudge was nursed and revenge was sought.

The take away: Let go of the offense and don’t hold a grudge. The cost to you isn’t worth it.


Excerpted and adapted from We Need To Talk by Linda Mintle, Ph.D. (Baker Books, 2015).


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