WFT- grudging

20 July 2009

The Merriam-Webster word of the day for July 14th was grudging.   M-W provided this definition:

1 : unwilling, reluctant 2 : done, given, or allowed unwillingly, reluctantly, or sparingly

They also provided this interesting English background:

More than five hundred years have passed since English jurist Sir John Fortescue observed, "Somme . . . obtayne gretter rewardis than thei have disserved, and yit grugge, seying they have [too] litill." Fortescue's "grugge" (an early spelling of the verb "grudge") meant "to grumble and complain," just like its Middle English forerunner, "grucchen," and the Anglo-French word "grucer," which gave rise to the English forms. English speakers had adopted the "complaining" sense of "grudge" by the late 1400s, and by 1500 they had added the extended sense "reluctant." That second sense may have developed because people associated "grudge" with the related word "begrudge" (meaning "to give reluctantly"). "Grudging," which developed from "grudge," made its English debut around 1533.

First... an observation that today's chat and text messages conversations online look very similar to Middle English. :)

Second... some observations from Scripture.

We should not give alms to the poor in a grudging manner:

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, "HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER."  (2 Corinthians 9:6-9)

We should also serve others and work out our salvation with fear and trembling without grumbling or complaining:

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.  (Philippians 2:14-16)

As part of the "love your neighbor as yourself" commandment we should not hold a grudge against our brother:

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)

There is at least one example given to us in Scripture by the Master where we should be unwilling:

But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' (Luke 18:13)

May we humble ourselves before our G-d and King like this tax collector and cry out for His mercy.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

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