"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." - Matthew 5:43-45
I've always considered myself somewhat a vengeful person. I am not proud of that. Wanting revenge is not a good thing. And it certainly is not a Christian way to live. But I am self-aware, and I have realized that I struggle with this. If someone hurts me, I want to hurt them back. I know, I know, this sounds so bad. But I know I am not the only one that struggles with this mindset. It's a self defense mechanism. It hurts to get hurt. It hurts to have someone say or do something that digs deep. It really hurts. Ghandi said, "And eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." If we keep fighting fire with fire, we are all going to end up in flames.
We also unfortunately live in a culture that sometimes supports the idea of getting even and getting revenge. Songs like Taylor Swift's "Better Than Revenge" may be catchy but they are giving us distorted views. It can be easy to get caught up in a "give someone a taste of their own medicine" mindset, but again, is that really the way we want to live?
"When you are angry, be silent."
I have realized that fighting fire with fire is an exhausting and pointless game. People are going to hurt you, whether intentional or not, someone is going to do something that rubs your the wrong way. It's so easy and dare I say a natural instinct to want to get revenge upon being hurt. We want to protect ourselves. But is being vengeful really the way to do that? Do you really, and I mean really believe that you will feel better about a situation once you hurt someone else?
I encourage you, put down your flame, put down your weapon, whether it be your harsh words or plan for revenge, I encourage you, put it down. No more fire with fire. No more hate.
Sit in silence for a few moments. Breathe in. Breathe out. You are more. You do not need to fight fire with fire. No matter how badly you were burned by flames from someone else.
"The most merciful person is the one who forgives when he is able to take revenge."