Our Mission: 
We exist to magnify God and spread a passion for His glory by making disciples and shepherding them to value Jesus Christ above everything else.
Holding a Grudge
by Pastor Patrick Carmichael
It has happened to every one of us. Someone does something, says something, looks at us the wrong way, and we get offended. Notice, we choose to take offense. We deserve to be treated better (or so we arrogantly think) and since we have not been treated the way we feel we ought, we choose to take offense. Already we have made a poor choice (choosing to be offended) due to our sinful pride (thinking we are to be treated according to our incredibly high standing on the awesomeness meter). But let's say that someone really does sin against you, does something truly offensive, deeply sinful, incredibly hurtful. What are we to do then? So often we go through the motions of saying we forgive them and attempting to move on in reconciliation, but functionally, we still harbor bitterness and still hold a grudge. The Bible has SO MUCH to say on this topic, but think through just three passages with me on this topic:
You can't hold a grudge if...
1) You Know How Much You Have Been Forgiven (Matthew 18:21-35)
You often hear this parable as "a man owed the King SO MUCH money (an incredibly true statement) and the man was owed a penny by his friend (an incredibly untrue statement). The thing I love about this well known parable is that the man who was forgiven much by the King, over 150,000 years of wages to be exact, was actually owed a decent amount by his friend, a little less than half a years' income. This means that, the man who was forgiven by the King was actually, deeply hurt by his friend. This wasn't a tiny little offense. We too often downplay how serious this sin was. This is a deep cut. But the point of the parable is that even when we are deeply offended and hurt by someone's sin against us, though it truly is a major offense, IN LIGHT OF the forgiveness we have been given, it should seem to us as pennies, even though it is way more than pennies. You simply can't hold onto a grudge if you deeply, truly feel and understand how much you have sinned and offended God and how freely He has given you His love and forgiveness! (Eph. 4:31-32)
2) You Are Walking in Humility (James 3:13-4:12)
Humility demands that we serve others, washing their feet, loving them with Christ-like love to the uttermost. It is really hard to pray for someone with genuine love in your heart for them while holding a grudge against them. And it is really hard to serve the needs of someone else when you are holding on to bitterness towards them. James says that if you harbor bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, you will be arrogant, lie against the truth of who God says you truly are and how you should act towards others, and cause disorder of all kinds, practicing every evil thing, and perpetuating quarrels and conflicts. You really have a choice: either walk in pride and hold onto bitterness, OR clothe yourself with humility, and release every ounce of bitterness you have in your heart, living in gentleness, grace, and peace. You simply can't hold onto a grudge if you walk in humility. (Phil. 2:1-11)
3) You Trust God is a Good and Sovereign Judge (Romans 12:14-21)
Every coffee drinker has heard the phrase from their barista when ordering a cup of joe at their favorite coffee shop, "Would you like some room?" (room left in the cup for cream and sugar that is). I love how Paul puts it in this passage: you have to leave room for the wrath of God. Would you like some room for God to take action, to avenge you, and to be a perfect Judge in calling the offending party to account? Then you have to leave room. "How much room?" you ask. All of it. This isn't a 50/50 job here. You don't get to take some vengeance and then let God finish it up. You have to step out of the way entirely, give up your bitterness, and let God be the One to handle your case. If you hold a grudge, you don't trust the Judge. And honestly, when you really begin to do that, you realize that God is going to judge YOUR case as well and you have stored up a LOT of wrath for yourself because of your sin against God! This will bring great fear into your heart and will bring you at once back to the cross! And at the foot of the cross, you will once again be leveled by the grace and forgiveness of Christ and how in light of the forgiveness God has given, there's no way you can harbor bitterness against your neighbor. And we're back at our first point. And the cycle of righteousness continues. You simply can't hold onto a grudge while trusting that God is a good and sovereign Judge. (Heb. 10:30-31)
Is there anyone you are currently harboring bitterness towards? Ultimately holding onto that grudge is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill the other person. Sin never works in giving us what it is promising, and the sin of bitterness is no exception. So, let's obey Paul's command today and, "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, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." (Eph. 4:31-32)

Summer Nights 
Join us for our Summer Nights, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Patrick and Hannah's. We are meeting together on Thursday nights during the summer for fellowship and to talk about the sermon from the previous Sunday. (Flyers are at the Welcome Table with more information.)

Marriage Matters!
GOD designed marriage with a glorious purpose in mind and He wants YOU to experience this in YOUR marriage!  Whether you're newlyweds or you've been married for a looooong time, please join us as we focus on the instruction and HOPE God gives for our marriages today. 

This summer group will meet: 
Sundays, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.  at Patrick and Hannah's.

Questions? Talk to Patrick, 818.458.5181 or pscarmichael@gmail.com.

Mark Your Calendars!

Aug. 6            All Church Picnic

Sept. 7           All Church Annual Business Meeting

Oct. 1             All Church Picnic

9825 Woodley Ave.
North Hills, CA 91343
(818) 881-1230