Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Giving Up Grudges

In celebration of Lent, each year people give things up -- meat, alcohol, Facebook (all of that is crazy talk, wink wink). One year, I gave up bagels and Dr. Pepper. Another year, I gave up Chipotle (that was a tough year). That same year I also gave up sweets. Although the sacrifice was great, I also greatly benefited from this hard work. In high school and college, I'm ashamed to admit that Lent was more of a weight loss scheme than any kind of religious act.

So, a couple of years ago, I decided to rethink what I was going to "give up." Everything I could think of had some kind of secondary personal gain. I started thinking about what I could give up that would make more of an impact, something less tangible. A real sacrifice.

At the time, I had several grudges, thankfully not many - friendships gone awry due to me being a jerk or them being a jerk, it didn't really matter who was at fault. I decided to give up grudges. What did this look like? It might have looked like an email or a phone call to say hello and genuinely asking how things were going, to say 'I know we haven't been acting like friends in awhile.' It might have looked like lunch or dinner to rekindle a friendship. It might have looked like an unaccepted apology.

Since the year I gave up grudges, I have made a point to not make enemies. I apologize when I need to, or even sometimes when I don't need to, in order to keep important relationships right. I'm not saying I'm perfect, because I'm definitely not. But I do feel proud of my take on Lent, and I encourage you to think about what you could do during Lent that could make more of an impact than just giving up coffee or going through the drive-thru.

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