Dirty engine oil, that will eventually cause issues. They say you need an oil change after a certain amount of driving, and cannot recall the exact amount, but emotional engines like our heart have the capacity for accumulating filth. Many drive their lives throughout their weeks and months letting deposits of emotional dirt and grime pollute their emotional engines and spiritual transmission.
Here is another term I will call, “Emotional Cache” and in computer terms, you have what is called “History” that tracks your website usage and all the websites you been to.
Many people also have emotional history, a lot of it is negative and unavoidable, and has just resulted from being around people just as imperfect as we all are for a long enough time to gather some amount of negative emotional catch. If we cannot figure out how to push, “clear history” by forgiving these people, then our emotional hardrive will fill up and cause problems in us, spiritually, emotionally, as well as socially . This is why many marriages fall apart, loved ones grow apart from time and strain, also this is why friends seperate when a small argument can remind them of all that past cache from yesteryear.
Because your petty argument today can have strings that open up hurts from years long gone.
God, however, does not do this with us once we have trusted by faith to call on the name of Christ for the “erasing” of “God’s History” of all the wrong things we have done, to both him and others, and even when we fall as believers, which is not the goal of a true child of God, but when it happens, he erases the History daily.
(Lamentations 3:22-23) Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
If God held a grudge then all Christians too would be condemned since we still fall into sin, yet:
(Romans 8:1-2) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
So when we choose not to forgive others, we not only harm ourselves, but we also are showing contempt for God’s mercy. That is why Jesus said,
(Matthew 6:14-15) For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
We cannot earn salvation by forgiving people, the scripture is clear that we are “saved by grace through faith, not of yourselves but as a gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:5)
Yet, if a genuinely converted Christ follower who has not forgiven someone, it will gnaw at their souls and fester like an infected sore until they have no choice but to let go of the unresolved bitterness. I am convinced God won’t let a Christian stay like that forever, unless they never truly gave themselves over to following Christ but merely only said some words and walked an isle without sincerely turning their lives over to Christ.
However, a born again person truly changed by the grace of God has no choice, and this does not mean we re-establish unhealthy interpersonal interactions, since the Bible warns us to avoid certain unhealthy social situations, but it does means we have to let go of malice and let God judge and not begrudge the person who wronged us. Grudges cause relational break downs among more then just the offender and the offended, because if the offended sits in a bed of sour emotional vomit their hearts will blister and irritated. They will take out their fears, distrust and anger on people who slight them unintentionally because their thinking becomes raw toward everyone.