Lessons from Books

4 Life Lessons from The Grudge Keeper

Summary of The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff

Cornelius is the town’s grudge keeper. Whenever the people have an argument or tiff with another person, rather than keep the grudge, they give the grudge to Cornelius. Thanks to his careful protection, no grudge is truly lost or forgotten. One day a huge wind blows the grudges around the town. The townspeople begin to remember all of the silly squabbles that they had been holding on to for so many years. Then, a miracle happens . . . the townspeople decide to forgive and throw out all of the grudges! Soon, Cornelius is no longer bogged by the town tiffs and is able to open up his heart and home to friends.

#1 Grudges hinder friendships.

Even thought the townspeople handed off their grudges to Cornelius for safekeeping, they hadn’t really forgiven the person they had a problem with. As a result, tiffs turned into squabbles, and squabbles turned into arguments! No one in the town was able to truly have a friendship because of all the grudges they were harboring towards one another. Holding a grudge can keep you from having deep, authentic friendships with others.

#2 Grudges clutter your life.

Poor Cornelius! Even though the grudges in the story weren’t his, his home and life was so consumed by grudges that he was unable to have normal friendships with others. The same can happen in our life. If we let the grudges pile up without dealing with them, then over time we will find that we have no more room in our life for others.

#3 Giving up grudges is freeing.

When the townspeople decided to throw away their grudges instead of stuffing them back into Cornelius’s house, they found a weight was lifted off of their shoulders! They felt free to be friends with one another and have fun without the fear of stepping on someone’s toes. Cornelius also found relief in having his home cleared of all the grudges and he loved the ability to have his friends over for tea now that there was room. In the same way, when we decide to let the grudge go and forget the squabbles, it can lift a weight that we didn’t know we had trying to hang on to that grudge. Don’t give the grudge all of your energy. Instead, use your energy towards something positive such as friendship, understanding, and forgiveness.

#4 Forgiveness is powerful!

Because the townspeople chose to forgive one another, positive interactions that once seemed impossible were now possible! Now, when two people accidentally bump into each other, they can meet the situation with laughter and understanding rather than anger and annoyance. Because of forgiveness, the whole town was turned upside down! Because of forgiveness, old friendships were restored and new friendships were made! Because of forgiveness, Cornelius was able to have his life back! Never underestimate the power of forgiveness.

I hope that your children love this silly little book, but I also hope that they take its deeper message to heart. Today, let’s release the grudges, offer forgiveness, and watch our lives turn from cluttered to free!

Check out more powerful lessons from picture books!

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5 Lessons from The Most Magnificent Thing

Lessons from Jeremiah

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