Oh Man! – How many times throughout my life and I’m guessing yours as well have we sought or longed for revenge – we need to desperately settle that score that’s been hanging over our heads for so long.
Thing is when we take revenge it is 99.9% with impure motives – God has told us countless times in the Bible that it is His job to take revenge not ours!
We know deep in our hearts that awful feeling when we feel so defeated – we are bruised we are beaten and honestly it’s like a constant battle – we are up against this never-ending feeling of anger mixed with self-pity and a desperate need to get back at whatever or whoever have hurt us so badly.
When we are feeling like this it is so so tempting to to try to take the role of God and heap vengeance on the heads of the hurtful ones – I guess that’s why God gave us this command in Leviticus somewhere that we should not seek revenge against those who hurt us and we shouldn’t even bear a grudge – instead we should love our enemies and pray for those who treat us badly PHEW!!
Non-retaliation even non-violence is discussed in the Bible- I found Matthew 5: 38-42 where Jesus points out as plainly as the nose on your face that vengeance is wrong and as far as seeking to ‘settle that score” well enough said – in fact Jesus says that if we are the victims of malicious or violent attacks we should go to the opposite extreme.
Of course that doesn’t mean that we should stand idly by and let someone beat-up on our family or not try to protect or property or our country but what Jesus is saying here, is that there is no place for wrath in our dealing with everyday people even those who we feel need to have our vengeance extracted upon them.
I have struggled so hard with this over the years and as I have got older, more and more have I come to realise that even in our thoughts we can play the vengeance game – you know, thinking of all the things we could say or do to ‘that’ person. In lots of ways I call this self-vengeance where I get a sort of satisfaction for a few seconds from reliving and thinking about what I would say or do. Believe me it doesn’t work!
Being and thinking like this only re-enforces and implants those negative and damaging thoughts firmer in our brains where we get to the stage where we can think of little else.
Self-vengeance like this really has no place in a Christian’s life at all. If we are truly committed to God then we need to trust Him that He will deal with any retaliation that needs to take place – and we have to rest assured that that retaliation will be done fairly and justly not at all like we would have carried it out had we had our way.
We need to knock those feeling of retaliation of the head firmly when they appear in our lives. Saying that I realise that that is not such an easy thing to think about let alone do.
When someone has really hurt us our very inner being cries out for justice. This is brought home to us time and time again when we see that person seemingly ‘getting away with it’. It hurts us it really does. So what do we have to do – how do we overcome these wretched feelings that can override our thoughts day and night?
We HAVE to rely on God – we just can’t become vengeful people – it says in Ephesians 4:32 that we have to forgive in the very same manner that Christ forgives us – I know and realise that it is such a hard thing to do and the only real way of dojng it is to give it over to God.
Truly evil people will pay in the end that’s for sure. BUT the thing is, we should be trying desperately not to condone our consciences with that fact – NO! not at all. Actually the opposite is what we should we doing.
The people who have hurt us may feel like they have skirted around God and have won a battle BUT the war isn’t over yet not by a long chalk. They may be feeling very satisfied with what they have “achieved” and feeling like they are some sort of champion but we are the ones who are still in the war – we are the ones who are still not giving up – we are the ones who are still not giving in.
We should be trying so hard to win these people over to God. In that way, they will see how their actions and their words have hurt or even maimed. We need to pin our hopes on the only one who can save them – Our Lord and Saviour. We need to pray that they will turn to Christ, repent and be saved. Only He can change them – we certainly can’t.
We are in a battle here on earth. Satan and his hoards are out to get us at every turn – and yes! we mess up time and time again BUT we are over-comers not by what we have done or achieved but by what Jesus did all those years ago.
So lets not waste our time and our lives banging our heads up against a brick wall here and certainly not let our hearts get so heavy that we lose the fight and give in to these feelings of vengeance and retaliation.
Jesus has won the battle – let’s concentrate on changing these people so that they can see their mistakes and come over to the winning side. At the same time let’s make sure that we are right with God as well – confess to Him our feelings of revenge and retaliation and turn over a new page and restart winning this battle.
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