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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
All I Want For Christmas is Revenge: Part 1 of 3
Part 2: Let Death Seize Them
Part 3: Bang! Bang! My Baby Shot Me Down
[Blog Category: Revenge]
- Freedom Begins with the Truth
It's the eve of December 1st; 5:55 p.m. to be exact. 'Just got in, fed my dog, and I'm enjoying a cold beer as I wait for her eleven-year-old tummy to digest her dinner. (I can't have my best friend cramping up on her one-mile-walk-jog to canine happiness.) I, on the other hand, will risk it.
I'm launching a series on revenge, or rather, the desire for it. Why?
Now is as good a time as any to unwrap revenge and man's natural desire for it. Take heart, there's a gift in the center. Like Blow Pops. Those suckers from the 70's with gum in the middle. Wait for it . . . by the end of this series you'll get a glimpse of how sweet it is when God--not the enemy fulfills this desire by transforming it into the passion to avenge a cause.
What is revenge?
1. the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.
2. inflict hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong done to (someone else).
We begin with a story.
Memorial Day weekend, the year of our Lord 2000. Somehow [his] betrayal had mutated into an anniversary date. Don't they always? Like clockwork, I recalled what I said, what he said, and what the police said as they ticketed me for the swings I took when I discovered him with another woman.
To this day, I remember everything--right down to the color of my undies. For years, I feared I was the only woman this neurotic until a girlfriend gave me a book titled: Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Touché.
Five years later, buried beneath a forgiveness prayer that never took, I was hell-bent on making him pay for it. Here's why:
In all that time, I wasn't convinced he felt as badly about his betrayal as I did, which was all the motivation I needed to bring it up again, and again, and again. If you've been betrayed, you'll get this. . . There was a particular look in his eyes that I longed to see. A look of genuine sorrow that preluded an empathetic acknowledgment that he understood how much he'd hurt and humiliated me. And is a girl shooting for the moon to want a little respect from that day forward? I don't think so, and neither does God.
So, now you know . . . I know how it feels to be betrayed. And I know the steady disappointment of suspecting the betrayers only real regret is being found out. (An unfortunate scenario that played on repeat in my marriage.)
In all my longing and subsequent fury, What I couldn't see is that I, too, lacked respect for me. I didn't value me--a deficit that was reflected in my relationship choices.
This month, I'll share personal stories that show a little of what I learned the hard way. I'll challenge you to peer inside your own heart in the presence of God--who only wants what is best for you. And pray that you will rise to the challenge. But what about what HE did to me, you might ask.
A wise woman once said to me, "Wendy, I'll give you twenty minutes to talk about [him]. I know you need to, but after that, we're talking about you and God. Because we can talk about what he did to you all day long, but it isn't going to bring you closer to the truth."
Something to consider:
Beneath all the bullshit, you are valuable. If you'll take the time to engage with God and embrace the value He reveals, you will learn things about yourself and the nature of God that will truly set you free. Free. Freedom always begins with the truth. If you need to express your pain, then you need to express your pain. Respect your needs in the process. But then choose healthy expressions of your pain.
- Find a safe and healthy friend to listen.
- Enlist the aid of a professional counselor.
- Read books written by renowned psychologist.
- Write letters to God.
- Find supporting Scriptures for every action you take towards a better life, a better you.
- AND be willing to identify behavioral/relationship patterns that are in direct opposition of your personal worth and what you tell yourself you want. (This is a biggie.)
We do not have the power to change another person's behavior. We can only change our own. The desire for revenge is rooted in feelings of powerlessness. From there, the enemy will attempt to convince you that you will feel better, be better, do better, AFTER the person who's harmed you has suffered.
Question: Is the desire for revenge buried beneath a "forgiveness prayer" that was insincere? Here's the number one clue that you've written a check with your mouth that your heart cannot cash:
- lashing out verbally or physically in an attempt to punish or create feelings of remorse in a person who's harmed you.
If you can relate, good for you! Healing always begins with honest confession. Examine your thoughts. Confess your desire for revenge. Free style it. (King David did.)
- Tell the truth.
- Tell the truth.
- Tell the truth.
God's big. He can take it. (Look for Part 2)
We get better together,
Published on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 @ 9:09 AM CDT