Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Chance For Revenge - A Heart Like His

Look at the corner of your robe in my hand, for I cut it off, but I didn't kill you.  Look and recognize that there is no evil or rebellion in me.  I haven't sinned against you even though you are hunting me down to take my life" (1 Samuel 24:11)

How easily does a vengeful spirit creep in on you?  What have been some of the more recent things that have set it off or at least made it feel like a reasonable option? 

It was easier to thirst for vengeance when I was wronged before I was saved.  Now I find myself working to put my beliefs into action. 

A recent example happened when I visited my Mother last month.  At the end of my visit my sister Debbie lashed out at me for no apparent reason.  I knew my sister Mary had a hand in it but I didn't know exactly what her role in the whole incident was. 

In the past I might have called my sister Mary to confront her to find out why she was angry only to have any and all words I would have said twisted beyond recognition and repeated back to my sister Debbie.  This would only ramp the argument up to another level.

Instead I prayed on the whole confrontation.  I prayed not for vengeance instead I prayed that my sister find some peace.  Each and every day I prayed for Debbie and my sister Mary rather than fantasize how I would get even with them.

Then without warning a few weeks later when I called my Mom she handed the phone over to my sister Debbie.  Debbie was asking questions about a situation one of my nieces was facing in her classroom and without missing a beat I gave her advice to help her daughter that was
pedagogically sound.

A couple of times she let slip things like "You know crazy parents like Mary" or "This parent is super crazy like Mary".  Oh how easy it would be for me to agree or say thank goodness you see that she's crazy after all that my sister has said and done to my children and I.  Instead I said a silent prayer  and ignored these comments.

Then I started to say to my sister, "Look I don't care how long you stay in that house.  You can stay there for the rest of your life as far as I'm concerned."  That's when she interrupted me.  Out of the blue she apologized to me and began to tell me what Mary had said to her.  I learned she told her that my brother Bill and I were going to push that she sells the house immediately when Mom dies. 

Why would we do that when there is already a will that specifically allows Debbie to remain in the house for a year after Mom's death.  I personally could care less if she stayed there longer if she needs to do that.

Mary told Debbie that Billy and I have ALWAYS been rich and because of that we would demand that Debbie move out immediately.  That in and of itself is hysterical since we all grew up in the same lower middle class household.  I had spent a few years on welfare so I guess I missed those particular rich years that I'd always had.  Debbie bought in to all of this though and was extremely upset. 

By waiting and allowing GOD to handle the situation everything worked out better than it possibly could have otherwise.  You see Mary went on to find out how much similar homes in the area were valued.  She then called Debbie and gave her some figures and then asked her how much she thought we'd get for Dad & Mom's house.  She even sent a realtor by the house to get his opinion.

Why would you do such a thing unless you thought there was going to be a pay-off soon.  After all Mom is still alive and the home's value depends upon a lot of factors that we can't possibly know now.  She showed herself to my sister who has now reached back out to both my brother and I. 

Why do you think GOD calls us to such a high standard of peacekeeping with one another, even at times when we seem to have grounds not to?

The longer I walk in faith the more I understand the truth in the old saying that revenge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

It is not unusual for humans to feel the desire for vengeance against those who have wronged us.  It is what we do with them is what matters. Don’t allow the anger, bitterness, and/or unforgiveness to fill our souls.
It is important to remember that forgiving does not mean that we let those who hurt us “off the hook.”  When we forgive we may let them off our “hook”, but they are still on God’s “hook!” Remember the Lord says, “Vengeance is mine.” So, let Him do His work. He dispenses justice in His own time.  God knows the heart, mind and motives of our enemies. We don't. God is able to heal, restore, or use the wrong that has been done against you for good.
As difficult as it may be we should try to pray for the salvation of the person who wronged us, the thing that they did, and ask God to not only work in their life, but keep them from doing harm against others.
It is not possible to be at peace with all people (Romans 12:7). As Christians we feel that we are required to fix every broken relationship and live in harmony with everyone. Unfortunately, some relationships just will not work out. It is OK to leave them behind and go on with others.

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