I am on week 3 of the 4 week series Pastor Chris Lockemy is preaching on forgiveness. If you’d like to watch the message it’s been loaded on their YouTube channel.
Before you keep reading check out
Week 1 Blog Imprisonment Due To Hurt
Week 2 Blog Imprisonment Due To Judgement
Then come back and continue!
The scripture PC (Pastor Chris) keep referring back to is Matthew 18:21-35
Door #3 was revealed as the door of Revenge
The idea that when someone hurts us, we hold the right to “pay them back” at some point. If your friend wasn’t there for your tough break up you may find yourself saying, “well just wait until you are going through a tough break up”, or “I can’t wait until the tables are turned” etc. You’ll hold onto that hurt until the perfect time comes when you can finally hurt them as much as they have hurt you.
Revenge is the practice of taking unauthorized justice into your own hands.
The Old Way
In the old testament they talk about and eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. It’s human nature to escalate hurt and betrayal, to want to cause them even more harm than you were caused. But scripture tells us no, don’t do that. The punishment must match the crime. If someone steels your shirt, it doesn’t give you the right to steal their car. It should be an equal trade. There has to be equity in the was justice is enacted.
The New Way
Jesus’ way is better. Love them anyways.
“You have hear that it was said, ‘eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you do not resist and evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And is anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If Anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the righteous and unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do no even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
How Do We Get Revenge?
This is not a how to. Pastor Chris was chowing us how we are already doing it. So that we can be more mindful of our intentions and actions.
We do to them what they did to us.
The most common for of revenge. It’s very simple. We do to them, what the did to us. An eye for an eye. When they don’t invite us over for a party, we wont invite them over the next time we have a party.
Keeping the person indebted to us.
We don’t take revenge out on them. But we will remind them of what they did to us, when it seems like we have forgot. When you bring up things from , days, week, months, or even years ago. You decide to hang it over their head that they are indebted to you.
Keep them defined as the person who did that thing.
Keep them in a box. We want to be able to define or label someone so that we know who they are, what we can expect, & what we can’t expect. The example Pastor Chris gave was the late friend. The person who always shows up late to a party, so you have to always tell them the event starts earlier than it really does because you want them to get there on time. But when they show up on time, people love to remind them that they are always late. We like to remind that friend that their out of their box. Revenge can be when you try to get people back into their boxes.
Why Should We Let Go Of Revenge?
A settle form of revenge is not letting people grow from their past. Why can’t we just be obedient and allow God to do God’s job. We need to trust that Jesus is going to take care of the things were not involved in. Let go of the hurt, & the revenge, and let God do what God does. He will do exactly what is meant to happen. There is peace in that level obedience.
Make room for God
Letting go of revenge allows us to make room for God. Instead of focusing our thoughts on how we can seek revenge, or the pain that was caused by someone else actions, we can focus on our prayer time. We can spend more time worshiping God. We can dive into a devotion and just accept that the situation is Gods.
When you let go, it perfects us. It completes us that God is complete. It finishes our heart like God is finished. Instead of incomplete and waiting for revenge to happen, instead you are focused on your relationship with God.
“Forgiving someone by letting go of revenge is the process by which God matures you.” – Pastor Chris
Makes you look more like Jesus
You start to realize that the person who hurt you is broken. Your forgiveness will confuse other, they will get a complete and bigger picture of Gods goodness. He forgiveness, & his great love. Jesus took the penalty of our sins, and gave us mercy, and blessings in return.
Choose to let go & let God. Pray for those who are broken so they don’t hurt anyone else, and so that them themselves don’t have to hurt any longer.