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Vengeance

Vengeance: ChaiwayVengeance: punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.
synonyms: revenge, avengement, retribution, retributive justice.

When we feel wronged by someone (whether or not they actually did do something wrong but we “feel” wronged), our human nature would love to see the person learn from their mistakes, come to realize that they were wrong, have it come back at them in some way.  We hope for a realization from them just how wrong they were and an apology to be forthcoming. Basically, if we are honest, we would like to see the person suffer just a little bit for the way they were wrong. It is a self-focused, self-righteous indignation we may feel. It is anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment.

Some people refer to it as Karma, the what comes around goes around theory. Karma means action, work or deed. It also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect.) Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering.

The philosophy of karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in many schools of Indian religions (particularly Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) as well as Taoism.

Now while it is human nature to want to somehow see justice done, here is the truth of the matter. It is not our place, nor our responsibility, nor our privilege, nor our burden. No person will ever know the absolute everything about a particular situation. It is not possible. There is only ONE who knows the complete story, every side of it, the actual truth, and that is God. “Remember the first things of old, that I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me. [I] tell the end from the beginning, and from before, what was not done; [I] say, ‘My counsel shall stand, and all My desire I will do.'”Isaiah 46:9-10.

“You have searched me out and You know. You know my sitting and my rising; You understand how to attach me from afar. My going about and my lying down You encompassed, and You are accustomed to all my ways. For there is no word on my tongue; behold, O Lord, You know it all.” Psalm 139  “Can anyone teach knowledge for God? But He judges high-handedly.” Job 21:22Do you know about the revelations of the clouds, of the wonders of Him Who is perfect in knowledge?” Job 37:16“Our Lord is great and has much strength; His understanding cannot be calculated.” Psalm 147:5

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” Romans 11:33; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20.

In light of that reality, guess who is in charge of vengeance and justice? Yes. God. We may perhaps see the justice occur, in a limited earthly way. However to fantasize about the perfect ending to a situation where another person “gets what they deserve” (according to our mindset) and the other person apologizes to us, and to stand on that self- righteousness any time we think about or mention the situation, that is unfortunately a delusion, a product of our own fantasy life. It also keeps us in bondage, trapped in that thinking, which keeps the situation alive in our head. We may say, oh, the situation does not bother me, or I have forgiven that person, but how we speak always indicates just where our heart is.

God says numerous times, vengeance is His. “You shall neither take revenge from nor bear a grudge against the members of your people; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18.

“Vengeance is poised with Me, and it will pay at the time their foot stumbles. For the appointed day of their reckoning is near, and what is destined for them hastens.” Deuteronomy 32:35

“Do not say, “I will repay evil.” Hope to the Lord, and He will save you.” Proverbs 20:22

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ That no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For we know him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’” Romans 12:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:6; Hebrews 10:30.

For someone who has received God’s salvation, the vengeance has already been paid for, by that salvation, by Jesus. For someone who has not yet received God’s salvation, they will incur God’s wrath unless of course that person receives salvation before dying here on earth. Let us be clear however, we very often will suffer the natural consequences for our actions here on earth. However there are times that we do not see the other person suffering those consequences. And there are the times that the other person actually does not, they appear in our self focused eyes to be “getting away with it”, whatever the “it” may be.

Freedom. Your freedom, my freedom, is to own our own sin and our own behaviors and let God be God in everyone else’s life. “And I shall walk in widely accepted ways, for I sought Your precepts.” Psalm 119:45.

“The spirit of the Lord God was upon me, since the Lord anointed me to bring tidings to the humble, He sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to declare freedom for the captives, and for the prisoners to free from captivity.” Isaiah 61:1.

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.'” 1 Peter 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 6:12.

Praying that you and I, we, are strengthened in the Lord this day.

Love,
Diane


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