Prior to dating my husband, my ex-boyfriend left me after a year and a half without formally announcing a break-up. He got in his truck, saying he had to go to work, and I didn’t hear from him for three months. After those three months, he finally reached out and I informed him I had already started dating someone else (now my husband). Looking back at that day my ex left, I recall that Christ had saved me that morning during Sunday church service. Pain in our hearts creates easy access for the enemy to enter our thoughts and actions. When we suffer a painful event by the hands of another, it seems to become our responsibility to ensure they feel our pain, too. If we do not receive the job or school opportunity we search for, we look for someone to blame for our disappointment. Though we may brush these off as substantiated actions, these are truly acts of revenge. The word revenge carries a heavy weight that we say does not describe us. Yet, the world says we are entitled to revenge, and even justified to have it, but it really invites the enemy to enter our hearts when we plot such revenge.
Revenge is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “n. the action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.” We must recall that God is the one in control. He is our Father, and He has not called us to step in for Him when we feel He has not done what is best for us.
From a physiological and psychological standpoint, the benefits of forgiving others are countless. A 2015 book Forgiveness and Health edited by Loren Toussaint, Everett Worthington, and David Williams provides scientific evidence and examines the theories linking forgiveness to positive overall well-being.
Though it is appealing to form our life to fit our needs or our agenda, it is imperative to believe the statement made in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (NKJV)
When we remember the sacrifice made for us and join Christ in putting to death any ideas of revenge, we can live by faith, and the desire for revenge disappears. We must love those who hate us and help those who hurt others. The love of our God is the message that His children shall spread across the earth. Revelation 21:4 assures us of His healing and comfort: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (NKJV)
The last line is what grabs my heart the most: “There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” The more we are able to catch ourselves in the midst of contemplating revenge for a wrongdoing, the more we are able to forgive others and place our concern in His hands for Him to handle.
1. Recall events in your life that have caused you pain. Were they inflicted by one person or by a group? How long did you (or have you been) coping with the aftermath of those painful events?
2. In relation to the events you recalled in the previous question, did you seek revenge for those who harmed you? Did you take matters into your own hands and ensure they felt your pain? If so, what relief did you seek when you performed such actions? Would you consider the revenge “successful”?
3. What information from this devotional will help you the most to ensure your pain is in His hands rather than your own? How will ensuring your pain is in His hands rather your own help you resurrect and put into practice the Created Woman pillars of dreams, healing, identity, purpose, health and fashion?
Goal setting and sharing: List 3 goals that you would like to accomplish (at home, at work, with family, etc) that will allow you to live out your purpose in regards to coping with pain without revenge: