I was whole heartedly convicted at church yesterday. We are learning about Revelation and the End Times. The sermon led to the topic of offense, revenge and forgiveness. I was so moved I cried.
I hate to say it, but I do find myself plotting "I'll show them" moments on occassion. It is hard to admit, but I do. I despise that about myself. I think it all started with my stubborn attitude when I was little. When someone would tell me "you can't do that," my famous phrase would pop up "I'll show you!". I never thought about it as revenge, but it is. Even if it is something great we are going to accomplish, it is still a revengeful attitude.
The whole thing is about changing your attitude towards people and situations. If we are doing something good out of bad motivations, that makes what we are doing null and void. We need to do things out of the GOODNESS of our heart and not to PROVE A POINT!
Romans 12:19: Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
Revenge is God's. Not ours. If we take up the offense we end up looking like the fool. If we put it in God's hands where it belongs, he can vindicate and fight for us better than we ever could.
I literally struggle with this daily. I have a few people in my life that I want to just shake and say "how can you give me an unfair judgement! You don't even know me!" I have not done this though I really want to. But I have not fully given the offense to God. I have to a measure, and I have been given a measure of favor in return. If I give it all to God he will make it good. Because he works all things for good!
Words to live by: Romans 12:20-21
On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I know I need to start checking my motivations and also discern the motivations of others. I will be continually praying this into my life because I do want to love and do good things, but with a clean and pure heart. Not a heart that wants to "show them" how good I can be.