Revengeful Hearts

Revenge.  Do you believe in it?  I had an older brother growing up and I lived for revenge.  I was a little runt, and I was climbing my way to the top of the family hierarchy no matter the cost.  I tattled.  I bribed.  I sabotaged.  I would be devastated if my children acted like I did.  I was rotten to the bone when it came to my brother.  Why?  Goodness, I have no idea.  It was just my character at the time.

Today, however, I am a totally different person.  I am very non-confrontational.  I don’t have the energy to fight for things like I did when it came to my brother, or maybe I grew up and realized it wasn’t worth the fight.

As my life has unfolded over the last few decades, I have learned many life lessons, and many of them, the hard way.  Isn’t that always the way?  One of my biggest life lessons is I’ve realized that holding resentment in my heart or harboring a grudge does nothing to the other person, but it does elevate my blood pressure and makes me lose sleep.  I’ve also learned that sometimes life throws things at you that you think are insurmountable, but if you are patient and lean of God for strength you can surmount anything.

I’m very glad that I’ve learned all this through my years, and looking back at my life circumstances I’m realizing how easy it is to let bitterness in your heart and want to get revenge.  This is the hardest battle I’ve ever been faced with myself.  When someone hurts you, it is natural instinct to want to hurt them back whatever way you can think of, but if we pray about it and leave it in God’s hands, he will take his own revenge.  Call it karma if you wish, but the old saying, “What goes around comes around” is very true, and you don’t even have to worry about making it happen.  It will all happen in good time.

Just like myself, clawing my way to be superior above my brother—something I am not proud of–we have to realize that we all going to want to be superior over certain people, but for what purpose.  What purpose does it really prove?  Selfishness.  Self-absorbtion.  Self-worth.  That’s it about it.

Becoming revengeful and bitter over what people have that we don’t, or what people have done to us in our past is not the kind of heart that God wants us to have.   Thankfully I grew out of that horrible heart I had, or at least I feel like I have, but there are many people that still carry this begrudging heart.  They have the desire to be better than everyone else.  If someone hurts them, they need to get even.  If someone is blessed with something they don’t have they are bitter.

Studying Deuteronomy 19, the 13th verse jumped out at me, “Purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you.”  God, will provide a refuge for those who accidentally commit sinful acts, but is revenge an accident?  Nope.  It’s very premeditated.  Moses was trying to explain that God will help us to purge our guilt but we also have to try not to do the same sin again.  It’s like nailing God to the cross again and again and again if we continue to sin in the same manner over and over again.

God is going to look after us, and our enemies.  It’s hard to trust sometimes, because we want revenge ASAP, and it is hard not to retaliate!  I’ve been there many times, and it is the absolute hardest thing that I have to make myself do.  It’s hard not to try and ruin someone’s life who tried to ruin yours.  It sucks to watch other children be mean to your children, or watch your children fail at something they worked so hard for.  It’s difficult experiencing a co-worker be unkind to you or others for no reason.  It’s hard when someone says something mean about us or a person we love, but these events all happens to help develop our personalities.

Next time this happens to you, try NOT to retaliate!  Instead, turn inwardly to the power inside of you.  Keep smiling and don’t let these people rob you of your entitled happiness.  Turn to your creator and watch the power that he possesses. Feel him purging your soul from sinful acts.   It might not happen as fast as you would like, but it will happen.

Hopefully by the time it does, your heart will have softened to forgive this person and you will not want anything to happen to this person, because people that hurt others aren’t bad people—they are just selfish.  Selfless love is what brings miracles, but loving people who hurt us is one tough job.

After time, you might even appreciate this person for what they did to you, because your life ended up so much better in the end for what they chose to do to you.  Life’s ever enfolding plan is a miraculous event if you can just relax and enjoy the ride!  Try it and see where your ride takes you!