Revenge is a fascinating concept. The idea is that I should be able to hit you if you hit me. What you do to me, I get to do right back to you. Let me tell you, there have been times in my life when that sounded just fine to me. To be honest, revenge sounded incredibly sweet when it felt like we were walking through Hell. As people we trusted turned their backs on us and a pervert walked free, revenge sounded so very sweet.
There is a one huge problem. Revenge is a lie. It is a myth that doesn’t live up to the hype. Sure I could have gone psycho on the person and had my 15 minutes of revenge, but then what? What comes next is the reality of revenge. It is called regret, remorse and living with the consequences of our actions.
As a Christian I have been instructed by God to not follow the pattern of revenge. 1 Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” This isn’t one of those scriptures that gets people all excited and the “Amens” shouting. This is right up there with “Love your enemies.” Why? Because it doesn’t allow us to take the easy way out.
When I disobey the scripture and take matters into my own hands, I take the situation out of God’s hands. When I am left with the aftermath of my actions, I then turn to God and beg Him to fix the mess that I made. Its a vicious cycle that leads to a path I have no desire to go down.
The problem is that walking out a lifestyle that obeys what Peter wrote isn’t easy. On a daily basis we have opportunities to get hurt and have our revenge. Our spouses tick us off and we give them the silent treatment. Or the wife gets mad and locks herself down like Fort Knox and it will take tiny shiny things called diamonds to unlock those locks. We get upset at our coworkers and then secretly plot their demise to get retribution. The other mom at the co-op says something that doesn’t sit well, and you make sure that get your jabbing comment in before you head home. This process starts at a young age. Just the other day I looked out the window to see my twins going Kung Fu on each other because of what one twin did that the other one didn’t like.
It is my job as a husband and father to live a life that reflects the faith I profess. That means I cannot take out the scriptures that I feel are no fun. Instead, I must show my family a Godly man that honors God’s word. I must love, when I really want to hate. I must forgive, when I really want lash out in anger. Doing so is not for the benefit of the others, but for my own. Forgiving when the other person shows no remorse helps me out, not them. It allows me to be removed from the bondage that situation could place me under.
So, stop the cycle of revenge in your life. When your spouse, child, parent, or anyone else you meet, does something that offends or upsets you, respond with God’s love that has been placed inside you. Be a walking example for your children so that they will follow you, as you follow Christ.