Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Remedy for Revenge

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend and was surprised when she mentioned that she was getting tired of waiting on karma to kick in on a former friend of hers.  She went on to say that it wasn’t fair how this person treats people and just gets away with it.  

Have you ever felt that way?  Most of us can say, yes.

Revenge is an ugly thing.  Wanting to see it happen to someone, or even taking the steps to “pay someone back” can consume you, and not in a good way.  It can turn a good-hearted person into someone unrecognizable in the snap of a finger, and what lies behind it?  Usually, it stems from betrayal.

Betrayal is difficult.  When you trust someone with a part of yourself, and that trust is broken, there is a piece that can never be replaced.  When we are betrayed, it can break your heart, rock your confidence in discernment and make it really difficult to trust people.  It isn’t an easy thing to get over.  

Beyond the pain, revenge can seem like the perfect answer, but it isn’t.  Seeking revenge brings nothing but empty, hollow feelings of vindictiveness and regret.  And in the end, that is just making you feel worse and allowing that person to continue to have control over you.

We can want justice for a ‘wrong” done to us so deeply that we can awaken to realize that we are even dreaming about the situation, meaning that there is no escape..not even in our sleep.  

What is the remedy for this rampant emotion that will ravage us if we don’t reject its power?


Yes, forgiveness is the remedy to revenge.  It isn’t easy to do, as a matter of fact, it’s downright difficult to forgive someone who has intentionally set out to hurt you, but the more you allow yourself to get worked up about wanting “justice”, you are just creating more pain for yourself.  

What are the keys to this magical remedy?
  • Be patient-  The Bible tell us that we reap what we sow, and it is full of examples of that being played out.  When I am hurt, I want that other person to hurt just as badly, or more and I want it NOW, but God tells us that vengeance is His.  It is His, not ours.  Our job is to love and forgive and trust Him to take care of us.

  • Take some steps back- When I watch a tv show, and a police officer draws their weapon, they always say, “Step away from the (whatever)..”  This can be a healthy thing for us to do in life, step away from the trigger that causes us to feel these emotions.

  • Turn away from the situation- Stop focusing on all of the details of what has been done to you, and focus on Jesus.  Look into His word, spend some time with Him in prayer and let it all out.  He can take it.  The peace that He will place in your heart and in your life will fulfill you more than wanting revenge ever could.

Passages to Ponder:

Matthew 7:12- Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.  This is the essence of all that is taught in the Law and the prophets.

Psalm 37:7- Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.  Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

I Peter 3:9- Don’t repay evil for evil.  Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you.  Instead, pay them back with a blessing.  That is what God has called you to do, and He will bless you for it.

Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Catherine Caracio, Susan Haynes and Kim McClure

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Fight For Your Family

What are you afraid of?  Heights, water, clowns, dogs, zombies?  If we are honest, we can all think of at least one thing that we fear.  While some items on that list might sound silly to you, to others those fears are real.  We, as believers in Jesus Christ, have an enemy and while that might sound silly to those who don’t share our faith, he is real and his power can be scary.

Satan is at work to destroy us and our belief in God.  What would be the most efficient way to make this happen?  In order to hurt us and scare us the most, he goes after our families.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  That’s where we hold our hearts and love and trust.  Those are the people who mean the most to us, so if he can get to them…he can get to us.  

His attack on the family is having a ripple effect that is causing problems in schools, elevating the crime rate, causing marital problems, etc., and when you are in the midst of any of those issues, it’s easier to doubt God, and that will eventually weaken our faith if it isn’t stopped.

How can we stop it?  Prayer

Prayer is powerful.  We fight back with prayer:  unceasing, unrelenting prayer.  Don’t underestimate this powerful weapon.  We may not see the results when we want them or how we want them, but God hears our cries and answers them in His own time and in His own way. 

Paul prayed relentlessly.  Here is a guy that prayed without ceasing.  He was chained to a guard every second when he was in prison, but he prayed, preached and wrote letters to several churches encouraging them to be joyful in all circumstances, and not to let their guard down because the enemy is real.  His prayers changed people.  His prayers saved lives.  His letters continue to lead people to Jesus and show them the way to salvation.

You might not be in a literal prison like Paul was, but you might feel like you’re serving some sort of prison sentence.  That can be heavy to carry, and you don’t know where to begin to pray and ask for help.  Even when you feel like that, God knows your heart and He is faithful to His promises.  Just cry out and tell Him that you don’t know how to express yourself, but you want to reach out to Him.  

When you begin to get frustrated with the waiting, ask yourself what your situation would be like if you weren’t praying about it?  Look carefully and find little answers that will encourage you to keep on.  Take an active role in preventing Satan’s influence on your family.  Take a walk through your house.  Ask God to protect each window, doorway, and room.  Ask Him to bless your home and to protect anyone who enters.  Thank Him for fighting for you!  He is a mighty tower!

God expects us to fight against evil, by HIS power, but also through our gifts and abilities.  He has gifted us to be lights in darkness.  Look for opportunities to shine light into the darkness and bring clarity to confusion.  We are told to pray without ceasing, and we can call on His name all day.  He is the victory!  We are never to give up for our God will fight for us.

Passages to Ponder:

Nehemiah 4:14- Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy!  Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes.

John 17:15- I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.

Psalm 55:17-18— Morning, noon, and night I cry out in distress, and the Lord hears my voice.  He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me.

Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Tammy Holtzapfel, Michele Killion, Maria Kucharczuk, Kim McClure and Shawna Nelson