Better Than Revenge

Ring, ring… the doorbell sounds. I scoot to the door, twist the knob, and greet the babysitter with my biggest Christmas smile. The Christmas smile is suddenly interrupted by gooey, crusty egg smudged across my front door. The egg appears to have solidified on the glass in mid drip. With hands on my hips and over-exaggerated head attitude I reply, “What is that?” My friend controls her belly laughing chuckle and says, “You got egged!”

I could fry that egg up with the sizzling steam trickling from my ears. Horns begin emerging from my newly colored hair. My pent-up anger unleashes. This mama of three is in retaliation mode. Revenge cracks its whip and springs into action.

I’ll admit my first plan of attack against my neighborhood isn’t pleasant. I consider grabbing a 12 pack of large eggs from my refrigerator and chucking them at every house on my street (Just to make sure the offender(s) doesn’t escape the egg explosion they so graciously gave to me). After all, I should spread the joy around, right?

The problem is…

I am offended.

My feelings are hurt.

Old insecurities of “not being liked” resurface.

Has someone ever done something that really hurt your feelings? Revenge seems sweet in the moment but in reality it’s just artificially flavored poison. It leads us towards escalation rather than restoration.

A much healthier approach to the inevitable conflict is to allow the Holy Spirit to hit the pause button on our knee-jerk reactions and redirect raw emotions. Quick responses are dangerous. When we slow our snappy attitudes down, we give God time to be the author of our words and our actions. It’s never easy but it always works.

Once the destructive fog of anger lifts and I return my eggs to dairy drawer, I ask myself this question. Am I trying to prove myself or improve myself? Am I more concerned with proving I’m right or more concerned with whether or not onlookers see Jesus in the way I respond?

Look no further than the example Jesus set regarding revenge. He did not retaliate when insulted; He did not threaten revenge when He suffered; and He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly, (1 Peter 2:13-25). Isn’t it ironic that we fight so hard to sustain our rights when all Jesus ever did was surrender His?

As we begin our week, let’s remember we are receivers of mercy so we must give mercy to those who hurt us. Even though we may not feel like it, it’s what Jesus would do.

So sweet sisters, the next time we find ourselves seeking revenge on a name-calling, egg-throwing, smack talker, let’s pause and think biblically:

Don’t hold a grudge–Leviticus 19:18;

Do not say, “I will repay evil,” wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you–Proverbs 20:22;

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.–Romans 12:17-21

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