Tag Archives: vengeance is mine

Letting Go Of Anger

I was recently scammed out of some money through phishing. I’m well aware of phishing scams and have always been able to spot them, but when this one came in, it was the perfect storm of timing. As soon as I figured it out (20 minutes later), I fought to get my money back. I was able to stop them from using the money, but then I began to beat myself up. That anger towards myself shifted to them after a day. I began to plot my revenge. I started researching to see if I could hire a hacker yo hit them hard. Then I decided that I was going to send them a spam bomb. My mind kept thinking of how I could pay them back until it consumed most of my thoughts. In the middle of my research, I heard the Lord say, “Vengeance is mine. Let it go.” That’s all I needed to hear.

A few weeks earlier, I had watched the documentary “Free Burma Rangers”. It’s about a man who grew up as a missionary and now has started a humanitarian movement in Burma, Iraq, Syria and Kurdistan. The documentary followed he and his family into Mosul, Iraq. He was on the front lines of an Isis controlled area. After freeing a family on the outskirts of the town, they were happy. They all loaded up in a tractor and headed to be with other family members. They got about a 100 yards away and hit a land mine that Isis left as they retreated. This missionary became angry and talked about how he wanted to kill every Isis member over it. Then God spoke those same words to him. The missionary then said, “Vengeance looks a lot like justice, but it comes from a different place. Justice is done from a place of love and vengeance comes from a place of anger.”

Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, And it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment]” (AMP). It’s ok to be angry, but we can’t let it lead us into sinning (Ephesians 4:26). Anger has the ability to consume us, especially when we were wronged intentionally. What we do with it matters. Seeking revenge and harboring resentment is not of God or from God. Those things slowly put you in a prison of your own doing. It’s time to let them go, and let God give justice for how they wronged you. God wants you free from the prison of anger and resentment so you can be used in the way you were created to be used. I know it’s easier said than done, but start by praying and giving it to God. Then ask Him to set you free from the anger and resentment by helping you to let it go.

Thanks to Steve Halama for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁

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Grab Your Sword!

Have you ever been so angry with someone you sat there and plotted ways to pay them back? I have. I’ve plotted ways where I wouldn’t get caught, ways that would hurt them worse than they hurt me and ways that were they would know to never do something to me again. I used to say, “I don’t get even, I get ahead!” It’s crazy how clouded our mind gets when we’ve been hurt by someone. Reason goes out the window and we have a laser focus (tunnel vision) on hurting them back. We don’t care who gets caught in the wake as long as that person suffers.

I know I can’t be the only one who has ever felt this way. Maybe you’ve experienced it too. I know David did in I Samuel 25. He had protected a man’s property while running from Saul and living in the wilderness. He was hungry so he sent servants to ask for food as repayment. The man whose property he protected replied, “Do you think I’m going to take good bread and wine and meat freshly butchered for my sheep shearers and give it to men I’ve never laid eyes on?” David took that as a slap in the face for all he had done for him. Without hesitation, David said, “Get your swords!”

His first instinct was to repay this man evil for evil. Eye for an eye. Tit for tat. His anger blinded him. He got 400 of his strongest men and headed for that man. If he wasn’t going to give it freely, David was going to kill him and take it. We act the same way when we’re angry. Only around here, we don’t say, “Get your swords,” we say, “Grab your gun!” Violence seems to be our answer when someone has made us mad. We hit a wall, stomp our feet into the ground, punch something, scream out loud and display our displeasure any way we can. We want people to know we’re really mad.

That’s opposite of what God wants us to do. God says, in Deuteronomy 32:35, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will over take them.” The problem is we want them to have pay back now. We want to be the ones delivering it, but that’s not God’s way. That’s not God’s timing. In the New Testament, God reaffirms this message through Paul. Romans 12:17-18 says, “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

God doesn’t want us grabbing our swords (or guns) to pay back what someone did to us. He wants us to calm down, breathe and trust that He will handle it “in due time.” Proverbs 22:1 says that a good reputation is more important than riches. We lose our reputation when we go around paying people back. In turn, we tarnish God’s name. By the way, that man’s wife stopped David from killing her husband and everyone else. The next day, the man had a stroke and died. Instead of having murder on his hands, he maintained a pure heart before God. Instead of reaching for your sword next time someone hurts you, reach for patience instead. Let God have it.

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