Four Ways that Holding a Grudge Messes Up our Lives and How to Fix It


Holding a grudge always starts by getting hurt and by being a victim. While we all get harmed at some point in our lives, not everybody holds a grudge. But if we do, there are serious consequences. The analysis of the full data of the Blessing Blocker test shows us how they impact our lives.

When I created the Blessing Blocker Test a few months ago, I had two purposes in mind. I wanted to give my visitors information about their blockages so they can fix them. The other was to get to know my clients better so that I could coach them more effectively and efficiently.

The Blessing Blocker Test

The test works in conjunction with my coaching method. It evaluates our connection to God, the strength of our faith, and the way we communicate with God. Moreover, it looks at different types of needs and how the test taker deals with sin and temptations.

Once the data poured in, and I started analyzing each test result, I noticed some patterns. I then decided to look at the entire data set. I wanted to see what we can learn from it. I removed the unfinished tests from the data pool and went into data analysis mode.

The topic of holding a grudge is the first investigation into the data. Write-ups of other issues will follow in future posts.

The Analysis of the Data and Interpretation of the Score

When I evaluate the responses, I weight them so that I can give a performance grade to each topic. Using a score allows the visualization and prioritization of the findings.

Turning answers into a score.In the test, I formulated the statements either in a positive or negative format. In the analysis, I assigned values between 1 and 6 to the responses, depending on the type of question. These points turn the answer into a score.

The higher the score, the better it is. Every answer with a score above 5.0 is healthy. Grades between 4.0 and 4.9 are ok. While they are not perfect, the hypothesis is that they do not hurt the blessings yet. The analysis will show whether the limits are appropriate.

Grades below 4.0 are dangerous, and below 3.0 are critical. In the reports to the test-takers, I surround toxic scores with a black box to draw extra attention. I recommend the test takers to fix the issues below 4.0.

The Scorecard

The analysis of the data shows that holding a grudge destroys our blessings in 4 ways. Other factors also affect them but to a smaller degree. I will not discuss them as this would dilute the central message. To better understand each of the results, I created a scorecard:

The scorecard explained.

[1] cites the evaluated factor compared to holding grudges.

[2] puts the test-takers into four groups:

[2a] those who agree or strongly agree with holding grudges (1 & 2)

[2b] those who somewhat agree or disagree with holding grudges (3 & 4)

[2c] those who disagree or strongly disagree with holding grudges (5 & 6)

[2d] all test takers combined (overall)

[3] shows the average grade of the factor cited in [1] and evaluated by their respective group [2]. The colors reflect the interpretation of the score: green for “good,” orange for “ok,” and red for “needs fixing.”

[4] provides a summary of the key findings.

The Respondents

Let’s first take a look at the test takers. What is their relationship with God? What stays more or less stable even as holding a grudge becomes more relevant? The data shows that the test takers believe in God and care what the Bible says. They firmly trust God and think that He is faithful. Their score is above 5.0 for these statements.

How holding grudges impacts the relationship with God

The data shows that holding grudges changes the relationship with God only slightly. But my website attracts mostly Christians, which could falsify the finding. I assume that if a person loses their faith, that person most likely does not visit my website. Hence, based on the data, we can only make a statement about the type of test-takers. We do not know the overall impact of grudges on their faith.

We can qualify the population of test-takers as follows:

People taking the Blessing Blocker Test have a strong faith and connection to God. They believe that God is faithful.

Finding 1: Grudge Holders Seldom Give God the Glory When He Intervenes

We now know about the background of the test and test-takers. It is time to look at the four ways that holding a grudge blocks the blessings.

How holding grudges impacts test takers' giving God the gloryThe data shows that only test-takers who do not or hold very little grudges give God the glory when he intervenes.

Now, you may ask, why should we care about that? How does it block my blessings?

Let us be straightforward. Not giving credit to whom it belongs, means taking it for oneself. If we do not earn it, we lie!

God does not want us to lie. Lying is a sin! Remember, holding a grudge stems from being a victim. By lying, we turn into a sinner!

We also need to remember the feeling when we worked hard, and someone else took credit for our work. It happens so often that most people have experienced this feeling at some point in their lives. Didn’t you get frustrated and angry? I did. Weren’t you less motivated to do anything for the credit-taker after this event? I certainly was.

How about God? How does He feel if we do not give Him the credit He deserves? We often consider God to be devoid of feelings. But there are many stories in the Bible where God got angry. He is slow to anger, yes, but this does not mean that we cannot hurt His feelings!

There is no question in the test that asks about giving credit to people. But, shouldn’t we assume that a believer who does not give God the glory will neither gives it to humans?

Getting someone angry is not an act of love. Getting anybody mad impacts our relationships with them and thus our blessings.

We also miss out on some beautiful feelings when we take credit that does not belong to us. When we give praise or say thank you, we fill our hearts with positive thoughts and our bodies with warm feelings. These feelings create trust and friendships, be them with God, or with humans.

It is important that we recognize the positive deeds of God and people. We do so for them as we do for us.

Finding 2: Grudge Holders Do Not Ask For Forgiveness

How holding grudges impacts test takers' asking for forgivenessThe data shows that only test takers who hold very little grudges ask for forgiveness!

Saying sorry is essential in a relationship. If we don’t ask for forgiveness, it makes the person we hurt wonder whether we care. If we don’t apologize, we may even come across as bullies. Moreover, when we do not express regret, we have no chance of fixing the issue.

Every hurt needs a band-aid. When we address the wrong we caused, we inspect the wound. When we let the harmed person express their grief, the injury gets cleaned. When we offer a gesture to make up for the damage, we put some healing cream on the bruise.

Of course, the wound may heal on its own. And if scars form, surgery can remove them. But if you care, you will do everything to speed the healing and prevent blemishes from forming.

Grudges are emotional scars. By not apologizing to the people we hurt, we increase the chance of long-term harm. Apologizing will never undo the action, but it cleans the wound and accelerates the healing. Asking for forgiveness lowers the pain and prevents further grievances. People cannot hold on to grudges that do not exist.

Consider, if our wrong-doers had apologized to us and we would have forgiven him or her, it would have cleaned our wound. It would have healed, and we would not hold any grudges today. Similarly, if we apologize, we prevent other people from holding grudges as long as they are willing to forgive you. Moreover, if we make up for the loss as much as possible, we speed up the healing. Furthermore, we create trust by taking responsibility.

Finding 3: Grudge Holders Like to Get Even When Hurt

How holding grudges impacts the wish to get even when hurt.People who hold strong grudges want to get even more often than people without grudges. Why?

We may get hurt in many ways:

  • a father who beats us
  • a guy who rapes us
  • a husband or wife who cheats
  • a boss who destroys our career
  • a friend who lies to us
  • an employee who steals from us

We can go on and on, the list of hurts that we may endure at the hand of another person is endless.

When someone hurts us, we get angry at the pain and the loss it creates. We may also feel ashamed that we were not able to defend ourselves. These feelings foster hate and a sense of inadequacy. To protect us, we create physical and emotional defense systems. They take root in our subconscious and set off whenever we perceive a threat, even when that threat is not real.

The more we are on edge, the more our instincts want to fight back and put an end to the stress. The feelings of anger and shame increase the wish to get even. It is only a matter of time before we lash out, independent of who or what triggered the action.

Once we act on our impulse to get even, we become aggressors. It destroys the relationship. The circle of harm and violence starts. It is the beginning of a journey to hell from which it ‘s hard to escape.

We must heal our grudges considering the havoc they create on our relationships.

Finding 4: Grudge Holders Wish for a Better Family

How holding grudges impacts test takers' wish for a better family.
The data shows that grudge holders often wish for a better family!

The scores show that a family that is ok without grudges may turn miserable when grudges are present. But holding a grudge is not the only reason for a failing family. We will look at other causes in my future analysis of the data.

Of course, we do not know what the chicken or the egg is. Many people get hurt by their families. So, if a family member causes harm and bad blood, the whole family suffers. If we want to save the family, both the harmful actions and the grudges have to stop.

The finding is not surprising given the previous three results. Assuming that the harm was created previously and is not ongoing, it is up to the grudge holder to fix the situation. Moreover, the grudge holder must change his or her behavior. Relationships don’t get better when we do not give praise, say neither thank you nor sorry. The wish to get even does not help either.

If we want to save our family, we must fix the grudges. Additionally, thank you and sorry must become part of the regular vocabulary. We also must watch out for nasty thoughts! We can drastically improve the health of the family if we implement these steps.

Letting Go of the Grudges through Forgiveness

Every problem needs a solution. Jesus tells us in the Lord’s Prayer to forgive. The answer of grudges is to let go of them. Forgiveness is the only way to a life without scars from hurts.

Forgiving is not always easy. Many situations are challenging. However, we do not have to deal with the hurt alone. Forgiveness is so dear to the heart of Jesus that we can be sure that He will support us if we ask. And while the process can be painful, our faith will carry us through it.

Knowing Whom and What to Forgive

To forgive often seems complicated. Grudges can become ingrained into our personality, especially when the cause is old. Sometimes, it may be hard to find the root cause of the resentment in the first place. How do we forgive if we do not know whom or what to forgive? Where do we start?

Let’s pray for guidance. God will help us. He guides us with inspiration. He may send people who help us to figure it out.

Does the Wrong-doer Deserve to Be Forgiven?

Evil people commit horrific crimes. How can we forgive when we still bear the consequences of such an act? Does the wrong-doer deserve our forgiveness?

Let’s be clear, we do not render judgment by forgiving, assist the aggressor, or have to forget what happened. No, forgiving helps us to free us from reliving the event again and again. It stops the hurting. It is the action that allows us to move on.

We forgive for the sake of ourselves, not for the wrong-doer. Forgiveness prevents our hearts from hardening. We also remove the temptation to become an aggressor. We can save our relationships. When we forgive, we close the door to the past and step out into our present and future. We can start to live again.

Ongoing Exposure to Harm

There is one priority when the attacking still happens: protect yourself. Depending on the situation, the protection may take various forms. If your life is not at risk, you may want to start with communication. If it is, get out immediately. Get help if you are not strong enough to manage the discussion, and you need protection.

Do We Need to Forgive?

The data shows that the consequences of keeping a grudge are severe. To unblock our blessings, we must forgive. Moreover, believers in Jesus Christ know that if we do not forgive, God will not forgive us either. If you need help forgiving, get help. Take action. Every day you spend with grudges is a day exposed to danger on a battlefield that does not need to be there.


Getting hurt is not only dangerous for the damage it causes. It also generates grudges when harmed individuals do not forgive their wrong-doers. These scars create severe problems for grudge holders resulting in behavioral changes:

  • not giving God the glory and most likely not to people
  • not asking for forgiveness
  • wanting to get even when they get hurt
  • wishing for a better family

Hence, to protect our relationships, we must first forgive everybody who has harmed us. When we forgive, we let go of the past and open up to a new life. We also need to correct ingrained behaviors that threaten the family. We need to learn to say thank you and sorry again and watch out for evil thoughts.

Grudges are emotional scars. We can heal them, remove the blockage to our blessings, and live a better life by forgiving, give praise and say thank you, acknowledge our mistakes and ask for forgiveness, and by watching out for nasty thoughts.

Next Steps

I hope you enjoyed this post. What do you want to do now?

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