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