During a promotional event, two 73-year-old former Canadian Football League players got into a fistfight on stage. They had a “beef” (a grudge or feud between friends, family members, or enemies) dating back to a controversial championship football game in November 1963. After one of the senior citizens knocked the other off the stage, the crowd yelled at him to “let it go!” In essence, they were telling him to “squash the beef.”

The Bible is riddled with examples of people “beefing.” Cain held a grudge against his brother Abel, because God accepted Abel’s offering over his. This grudge was so severe that it eventually led to murder (Genesis 4:4-8).

Esau held a grudge against Jacob because Jacob stole the birthright that was rightfully his (Genesis 27:41). The wronged brother’s grudge was so intense that it caused Jacob to run for his life in fear.

Joseph’s brothers held a grudge against him because he was favored and more deeply loved by their father Jacob. Their grudge led to intense hatred and would have led to murder, had it not been averted by one of the brothers (Genesis 37:18-20). Joseph’s brothers were so controlled by fear and guilt that they assumed he would hold a grudge and exact revenge against them for selling him into slavery (Genesis 50:15).

In each of these cases a person or persons had a persistent feeling of ill will against another—the lingering effects of injury or insult.

Not only is the Bible littered with examples of people who held grudges, it’s also replete with instructions on how to “squash the beef.” God instructs His people to love (Leviticus 19:18), pray for, and forgive people who insult and injure (Romans 12:14), live peaceably with all people (Romans 12:18), leave revenge to God (Romans 12:19), and overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 45:1-28