Have you heard the story about the man who went to see his family doctor and was told, “Yes, indeed, you have rabies.” Upon hearing this, the patient immediately pulled out a pad and pencil and began to write.
Thinking the man was making out his will, the doctor said, “Listen, this doesn’t mean you’re going to die. There’s a cure for rabies.”
“I know that, ” said the man. “I’m makin’ a list of people I’m going to bite.”
We may chuckle at a story like that, but in reality it isn’t very funny. However, it does bring up a point. There comes a time in everyone’s life when revenge, or the desire to strike out at someone, comes into play. No one is immune when it comes to hurt and the desire to get even. Along the way we hear all sorts of
reasons excuses for their display or failure to overlook someone’s fault(s).
- It’s my nationality.
- It’s my upbringing.
- It’s my red hair.
- It’s my personality.
There are more. And to make matters worse, I have seen and I am sure so have you, people who simply refuse to forgive. Revenge is at the top of their list. Just recently I had lunch with a young man who has gone through some struggles (that is how I met he & his wife). He has sought God’s forgiveness…and received it. He has sought his wife’s forgiveness…and received it. But a certain member of his extended family refuses to forgive. This person cannot let go of things from her past and wants to hold them against him.
Now…magnify that to a higher power. You now have the makings for the desire for revenge. David was slighted by the arrogance and just plain meanness of Nabal in I Samuel 25. He strapped on his sword and was ready to exact revenge on the dirty rotten scoundrel. But Abigail, Nabal’s wife, stepped in. (Forget all that talk about Abigail “marrying above her pay grade.” She was too good for him!) She got wind of what David was planning on doing and intervened with enough food to feed…well, an army. If David had given in to his warrior desire, his life would have been a real mess. Actually, in two consecutive chapters (I Samuel 24 & 25) David had a chance to exact revenge and didn’t.
Truth: Revenge is (not) sweet. It takes a toll on the person wanting it. My sermon Sunday is on revenge. I would appreciate your prayers. Meanwhile, what about you? Do you have trouble with revenge? Are you a vengeful person? How are you handling it? I’d love to hear from you.