Revenge has become something attractive these days.
It seems like every time I turn on the TV or go to a movie, revenge is one of the main plot lines. There have been 39 major motion pictures in theaters with revenge as the major plot line in the last three years. There was even a show on TV called “Revenge” for four seasons that was the most popular show in it’s time slot for years, and now the re-runs keep it alive on Netflix and cable channels.
Is this 'infatuation' society has with revenge a reflection of the status of our hearts?
How do you get to a place of revenge?
I don’t think you wake up some morning thinking, “I think I’m going to take revenge today.” The act of avenging some loss or wrong done to you starts with a small seed in your heart before it grows up into a tree with revenge as it’s fruit.
I believe the small seed that is planted is the simple decision to pick up an offense. But, if you don't tend to your heart, this seed will grow up as a “revenge tree.”
One of the best resources which addresses this issue is the book called “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere. He writes,
“Your response (to holding onto offenses) determines your future.”
It is true that choosing to hold something against another person opens up the door for the enemy to have his way in our lives. Many have said that “unforgiveness is like drinking poison all the while hoping the other person dies.”
The choice we make to hold onto offenses will systematically isolate us and make us live as victims instead of victorious over-comers. Holding offense is a sign of pride in us and closes us off to anyone close enough to hurt us. Vulnerability in our relationships shrinks when we hold onto offenses. This makes building meaningful relationships scary and difficult.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Can you relate to these things?
- Are you ready to be free from this prison for your soul?
- Who has offended you that you are secretly hoping will suffer or have to pay for their actions?
- Are you holding onto offense and pretending it’s righteous anger?
- Are you willing to let go of your offense, walk into forgiveness and put them on God’s hook for justice?
If this is a struggle for you, I highly recommend picking up the book, “The Bait of Satan.”
If you missed last Sunday’s service message on revenge, check out our podcast “Tend to the garden of your heart.”