Friday, 15 September 2017

Getting Even

Proverbs 24:29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.”

         When it comes to getting even with someone who has hurt or betrayed our personal pride, feelings, or even injured our body, the downward spiral of evenness can only bring more hurt than the original offense. The problem with getting even is the process always brings a person down to a lower level of existence of being because the original offense or slight was already a low blow. You end up at the bottom with the bottom feeders, so to speak, and coming back up to where the Lord is trying to mature your soul can be a hard and arduous time. This is why God says vengeance is His affair and not ours to take into our own hands. 
      God knows the right judgment for the offender and the right cure for those affected. God's purpose is to get both sides into a righteous plan of love and honor. God understands the discipline needed for the offender and the right curing ointment for the one who got hurt. Satan wants us angry at the world so that we become a reactionary and violent people continually living is a state of craving vengeance. John 10:10a The thief comes  not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. At this point, madness creeps into our once peaceful lives and we become unhappy victims of offence.
      How can grace work if retaliation is the constant automatic response? History shows us the affects of keeping grudges alive and festering. The oozing open sore of hurt pride will only put the next generation on a course of prejudice and bitterness. Eze 18:2 Why do you cite this proverb when you talk about Israel's land: 'The fathers eat sour grapes but it's their children's teeth that have become numb.' The children suffer because forgiveness is not a part of their everyday lives. Families who are always looking to get even forfeit the freedom of forgiveness. 
      By this time vengefulness reaches a generational feud, then getting even is no longer the point and the atrocities become greater. We can see this in our recent history with the fallout from the second world war and the festering hurts that came up again in the Kosovo conflict of the 1990s. It will never stop till someone says, "I forgive you and I do it with the grace of God." Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
      We read in the book of Genesis the story of Lamech whose pride had been hurt to the point of dictating the amount of payback that would be satisfactory to his self-importance. Gen 4:23 Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, Listen to my voice, You wives of Lamech, Give heed to my speech, For I have killed a man for wounding me; And a boy for striking me; 24 For if Cain is being avenged seven times, then Lamech will be avenged 77 times." Seventy-seven times more hurt in return was now the accepted amount of getting even. If that amount was personal, then how much worse will it get throughout the next generations? 
      This is why I say when people get involved in this endless eye for an eye lifestyle, they become the bottom feeders in society. They are always looking down to a greater baseness of vengeful fulfillment rather than looking up to heaven for healing for their generational hurts.
      If we want to get even with anything in life, we must put ourselves at the same starting line the Lord is standing on. If we start from the top and work the hurt and problem from the top where the Lord is ministering to our soul, we will have ammunition toward the temptation to lower ourselves to the lowest common denominator of a street thug. Yes, there is always forgiveness when we finally turn back to the Lord, but hard to do when we have spent so much time living in past hurts and fantasies of revenge. 
      Jesus uses a reference to put on His yoke. The picture is you are yoked or walking even with Him side-by-side, working out all the problems and hurts. As long as we stay yoked, we will be even with the Lord and that is a place to put our energies into getting even. Let us get close and personal with our Savior. That path leads to forgiveness and peace. May we all find it.

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