If Joel refuses to lend me a "sickle" today (even though he is not using it and has no reason not to lend it); but I lend him an axe when he asks tomorrow. This happens multiple times and to multiple people. Joel never lends but others always allow him to borrow. It seems as if Joel is in need of someone teaching him the error of his ways; but it appears as if none of the lenders can give him this instruction verbally because it would constitute grudge-bearing. How does one help Joel with "derek eretz" in this instance without transgressing the prohibition against grudge-bearing since any example of Joel's short-sightedness would more than likely involve illustrative "I gave you the axe when you did not give me the sickle".
Chaim Kalman, Red Hook, NY USA
The Rambam (Deos, 7:8) gives us an important insight into the prohibition of Netirah. The Rambam says that as long as one holds a grudge against the one who wronged him, he may come to take revenge on him. He must, therefore, completely erase the injustice from his heart. The Rambam is telling us that Netirah is a "fence" around the central prohibition of Nekamah. It follows, that if one has removed that burning sense of indignation from his heart, then he is free to rebuke the offender, for there is no longer any risk of coming to the more serious offense of seeking revenge. Of course, he must follow all the guidelines of rebuke - do it in private, in a pleasant way, etc - itself a difficult task. Therefore, if you are one of those exceptional people that can completely cleanse your heart of any ill will towards Joel, then you could speak to him about his bad Midos. The majority of mortal men, however, who find it too difficult to do this, may have to resort to asking an unbiased third party to speak to Joel.
The Sefer Mishnas Chachamim tells us that the prohibition of Netirah does not apply in the case of someone like Joel who is habitually stingy.
*This reply is not intended as a Psak Halachah but rather as an exploration of possible solutions to your question.**