Saturday, June 9, 2012

Revenge

Romans 12:19
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Some days I would really...really...like to take revenge on certain individuals that have attempted to do me harm. I struggle with the hurt I feel and the anger, the injustice...and my inability to understand the lack of reasoning or rationality behind the other person's behaviour...Why? Why would they do this?...

For some, it can be a real challenge to not lash out in anger in the moment...before rationality sets in. For me, it is more of an internal struggle. I am like many others who are more likely to avoid confrontation and stew, and basically allow the anger/hurt eat away at me instead of dealing with it in a timely manner. It is something I have been working to improve. I am learning that very, very few people are actually willing to help others deal with their conflict. People generally don't want to get involved in conflict if it is not in their best interest, or rather, if they have nothing to gain from it. They will lean in to hear bits and pieces of a situation, but most people would rather wallow in the juiciness of rumour, innuendo, and the tragedy of others than seek to help bring healing and restoration. 

Being detatched from conflict is much easier than dealing with it...and if you are at the heart of conflict, and you detatch...well, let's just say it takes much longer to evoke restoration and healing.

Revenge is nothing new, nor is it anything unnatural. It is a reflex of sorts...not a healthy one or something that is to be encouraged, but it does exist and at some point in life you will have to address it internally.

Now, this is the deal: there are many a counsellor that would direct a person towards dealing with revenge with counsel based upon their specific training...and there is nothing wrong with that; however, unless your counsellor is Christian, they may not incorporate the importance of taking the entire matter to God.  I want to encourage you to do this.

Revenge acts, of their own device, always cause more hurt and damage to all persons involved (and a lot of people on the fringes too).  The interesting thing is that the person that exercises revenge will suffer the most - mentally, emotionally, physically, and/or spiritually...I am sure you can think of someone in your life who got caught up in revenge and suffered negative after effects. Have you ever considered someone who had engaged in revenge with admiration? I haven't...more along the lines of pity. A person never gets away with revenge...Look at Samson - Judges 13-16 - Samson suffered - and died. God used Samson's bad choices for good, but Samson did not escape the consequences of revenge.

When you consider revenge as an answer to your problems, you are acting in the flesh and separating yourself from God. In fact, you are attempting to play god. Bad idea. If you are considering revenge, you need to stop and do some self assessment. What are the reasons for the anger/hurt? And who can you talk to about it? Communication is essential to avoiding the toxic thinking that leads to revenge. And I don't mean talking to someone who will feed your anger/hurt feelings, but rather, someone who will be objective and give an honest perspective and productive direction.

...And you need to take it all to God. He will be the one who will ultmately bring complete healing.

Some people, including Christians, think God is too busy to hear their concerns, or that you can't bring your anger/hurt to Him - in all of it's rawness. Both lines of thinking about God this way are nonsense! God hears all, sees all, and knows all. He is the best person to go to in times of need. He knows your situation, and not only that, He knows the situations of all those involved, and He has the best advice to resolve the situation, not to mention the deep healing power that we need in order to move on. We are impatient creatures though, and God does not necessarily work according to our desired timetable, but He does work - in His time.  This is not a bad thing...a frustrating thing perhaps, but that is where our faith comes in.
 "...we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."~Rom. 8:28

Revenge is not the answer. Don't despair. Anger and hurt can and will be healed, but you have to be willing to back off, see things from a different perspective, be honest, humble yourself before God and engage in forgiveness. Get help and keep faith.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.~Rom.9:21

This is not meant as "professional" advice; personal opinion and experience only.

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