Today, I spent the day thinking about what I posted yesterday and thought it would be a good thing to post a few more examples on how we seek revenge, sometimes without realizing it. Christians are to be a people that seek to honor and worship God in all they do, so rather than seeking revenge, we are to seek to bless our enemies and those who wrong us. In case you have not read part one I posted yesterday, the Bible text I spoke about yesterday is Romans 12:19-21.
The passage says,
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
In part one I gave an example of how people take others to court in order to get compensated for “pain & suffering”, and how as followers of Jesus, we miss a huge opportunity to share the gospel of Christ when we seek to abuse the court system for our selfish advantage. But, as I was thinking today, there are so many other examples of how we often seek revenge on others. So here are a few I thought of today.
1. Not inviting someone to a party because they did not invite you to theirs.
2. Not talking to someone simply because they have not talked to you.
3. Flirting with someone because you saw your spouse flirt with someone.
4. Seeing someone flirt with your spouse, so you flirt with theirs.
5. Starting a rumor against someone simply because they gave you a look you did not like.
6. Not inviting someone to you house because they have never invited you to theirs.
7. Not buying someone a Christmas gift because they did not buy you one last year.
8. Cutting someone off in traffic because they did the same to you.
9. Slandering a person’s reputation because they did the same to you.
10. Not playing with a friend simply because they would not play with you the day before.
11. Forcing an employee to do extra work because they do not praise you like your other employees do.
12. Giving a cold shoulder to your spouse, friend, family member, co-worker because they said something you did not like.
13. Blasting a friend on Facebook because they did something you did not like.
14. Hitting someone because they hit you.
15. Not performing 100% on the job to get back at the boss for not giving you the vacation days you wanted.
These are just a few more examples. Do we see how ridiculous revenge can be? It only hurts our self, for it is ultimately a selfish act. It is sad how revenge controls so many people’s lives. It is also easy for anyone and everyone to fall into it. This is why it is so important that we examine the motivations of our hearts with the word of God, and ask Him to reveal His will to us. A good measuring rod that helps us know if we are walking with a revengeful heart is if we say or think, “Deserves them right. They had it coming to them” or “I’ll show them.”
When we bless others instead of seeking revenge, does that mean that the hurt we experienced is not real or not painful. Of course not. Wounds are real, and can run deep. Things like fights, divorce, abuse, violence, etc. cause great damage. Therefore the only way a follower of Christ can seek to bless those that hurt us is to turn and depend on the grace of God. We trust that His grace can heal any and every wound, and we trust that His judgment in our situation will be perfect in timing and severity. This is not an easy task, but it is a way to make God look great in these kinds of circumstances. And making Him look great is what brings great joy to the believer in Christ that seeks to make their life about making Him known to a world that needs to know Him.