HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
There are so many things in life that can cause us to get angry and cause us to go on a path of revenge. There are many examples in the Holy Scriptures for us to follow. As we continue reading I will show you some areas for you to think about and to follow.
Revenge – it may be one of life’s subtle temptations. All of us, probably at one time or another, have wanted to get even for being mistreated.
Maybe it was because an employer promised you something and never came through. Maybe your spouse or mate walked out on you when you needed him/her the most. Maybe it was a parent who failed you or someone in the church who hurt you or has not appreciated your efforts. And now you are waiting for the chance to get even or you are seething inside because you are holding a grudge.
It costs more to revenge injuries than to bear them. And you know what I am talking about since each of us has been in a similar situation at one time or another.
David’s response to injustice
In the Old Testament, we read where David was wronged by his superior, King Saul. Even though David had been a devoted servant, Saul became so intensely jealous of him, that he plotted to kill him. At first, he just put him in the front lines of battle. He gave David the most difficult assignments, hoping he might become a casualty of war. But when David continually came home as the conquering hero, Saul became so outraged that he actually threw a spear at his young musician in an attempt to kill him. David sidestepped the spear and just excused Saul on the basis of his mental state.
Saul would not give up and he sends an army of soldiers out after David to do him in once and for all. And David becomes a fugitive – he’s on the run for the next eight years.
“It’s so easy to justify taking matters into our own hands when we’ve been wronged… Only God can expand our hearts.”
Now, if there was ever someone you could think was mistreated, it was David. He had been anointed by God’s own prophet, Samuel, to be king. He had courageously displayed his faith in fighting Goliath. David, a man after God’s own heart, is hunted down like an animal, by Saul’s troops. Just think how angry and resentful David could have felt. Everything that had been precious to him had been stripped away because of Saul.
But, King David is one of the greatest examples of bearing injuries, while refusing to take revenge. Joshua, aged 11, says: “When David saw his chance to kill Saul, he didn’t. His friends tried to make David kill Saul with his spear.”
Put yourself in David’s shoes. A jealous madman is hunting you like an animal. You are living in caves, dodging spies and wondering if you’ll live to see another day. Then, you find yourself with an opportunity to take him out.
Although David knew the prophet Samuel had anointed him to be king of Israel, he refused to take the kingdom by his own hand. He waited for God to depose King Saul. David said he would not touch the Lord’s anointed.
It’s so easy to justify taking matters into our own hands when we’ve been wronged. We erroneously believe we have the right to strike back. Do we look to God when someone wrongs us? Is God big enough to handle our enemies? Is he big enough that we can pray for our enemies? Can we treat them with kindness? Only God can expand our hearts. It’s no accident that God called David a man after his own heart.
Let God be God and watch him work. The saddest part of revenge is that it puts us on the same level as those who have wronged us. God very clearly commands us through the Bible that if there is to be any “getting even”, we are to leave it for him to do. Why is God so adamant about resisting this temptation? Because He knows what it does to us and others. He knows the resentment that poisons us, and the pain we inflict upon others by getting even is never in anyone’s best interest.
Motivated by vengeance
We read in the Book of 1 John 4:7, “My dear friends, brothers and sisters, we must love each other. Love comes from God and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life.”
A person who carries animosity in his heart toward another believer does not have a whole lot of assurance of his own salvation.
Do you know that holding onto vengeance will cost you broken health? Proverbs 14:29 says, “It’s smart to be patient, but it’s stupid to lose your temper.” Vengeance festers within and poisons our spirits when we hold grudges or take revenge. We become no better than those who hurt us.
If you don’t release those who hurt you, you will begin to resemble them. We only hurt ourselves when we take matters into our own hands. We lose God’s peace and sink to the depths of whoever hurt us instead of becoming a healer.
In taking revenge a man isn’t even with his enemy, he is only as low as they. But in passing over it, he becomes superior, for it is a prince’s part to pardon.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “Only fools get angry quickly and hold a grudge.”
But keep your mind on the goal and remember God has the last word. Our motto needs to be, “Don’t lash out – leave it to the Lord.”
Remember what God’s Word says in Romans 12:18 ‘ “Do your best to live at peace with everyone.”