Forgive one person you are holding a grudge against. Maybe the person apologized to you already, and you refused to forgive them. Maybe you verbally forgave them but really haven’t let the situation go. Maybe you still have a bad attitude about something someone did to you or said about you. After some prayer, approach him or her in person or over the phone and forgive them.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:12-15).

It's easy to hold a grudge. So easy in fact, that we often don't even realize we're holding it over someone.  I know I always try to apologize when I wrong someone.  If I know I hurt one of my friends, I usually can't sleep until I've made amends - not just apologized for the action, but actually been forgiven.  It's one thing to say "I'm sorry," but another thing entirely to mean it and earnestly ask "please forgive me."

When I was younger, I was involved with a particular youth activities organization.  We had a blast, and I know we were all learning a lot.  Then, one weekend, everything seemed to fall apart.  I had been assigned to a certain task, but everyone seemed to be second-guessing the way I was doing it.  I was frustrated, and due to the quick temper of my youth, took it out on my friends ... and that only made it worse.

Later, one of my friends confessed to setting me up for that meltdown.  He claimed he didn't trust me to perform, so made a point to undermine my efforts in front of my peers and told them explicitly that I was not competent to do the job I'd been asked to do.

The lack of trust hurt.  The actual betrayal by someone I counted as a friend hurt even more.

The next day I announced my resignation from that organization and turned everything over.  Honestly, it was easier than trying to face my friends, explain myself, and try to work through what had become a more than rocky relationship.

This all happened over 9 years ago, and I only speak about it in vague terms because there were a handful of people who still don't know what went on and weren't harmed by it.  Really, to bring up names, specific events, and such would actually cause more problems than it would solve for a simple reason: we've all spoken since then and forgiven one another.

The person at the center of the debacle was hard to forgive.  Not for what had happened, but for how what he (and I) had done and how it had affected friendships with other people.  But with time, I've been able to see past even that petty squabble and work my way up to forgiveness and moving on.  It was a hard conversation to have, but a necessary one and I'm glad for it.

The parable of the unmerciful servant is a damning one for me.  I know how much I've done for which I've needed forgiveness, so to acknowledge that I've withheld similar forgiveness from others ... well ... it eats me up inside.

This isn't something I necessarily like to admit, but I feel a bit like I need to be forgiven for not forgiving those who've wronged me.  "Forgive us our debts as we forgive ..."  It feels wrong to pray that but still hold the balance of a grudge in my heart.  This is definitely something I will continue to work on even after this challenge is concluded.