Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:21
Our first inclination, when someone has done something mean to us, is finding a way to get even. Whether we find it in the heated words of a disagreement by using phrases we know will sting, or whether it be an intentional plot to seek out revenge – it’s human nature to want to hurt those who hurt us.
No one likes to be hurt, taken advantage of, or used yet we do it on a daily basis. With each slap we receive, we automatically slap back. I’m put in the mind of two toddler children learning to share. One yanks a toy away from the other and a slap occurs. Immediately the second child slaps back and thus the battle rages. Who can hurt the other worse?
Divorce is a prime example of adults who try to slap back. When a marriage fails, someone is hurt. There’s no simple way around it. However, for those who strive to take the high road, the climbing is hard but the view is so much better from the top. Nothing good comes from getting even and though the satisfaction may be temporary, the action in the long run is painful.
For those I know personally, including myself, who have experienced the pain of divorce, not one will tell you they felt good about retaliation when it was over. Our hearts are so damaged and torn, that we feel like the best way to prove to the other person we are hurting is to let them know “what it feels like.”
Imagine how things would be for us, had Christ taken the blows of torture for our sins then turned and pointed the finger at us saying, “Here, try this. See how it feels?” Could we withstand the beating and abuse He bore in our behalf? I seriously doubt it. The hardest thing to do is become Christ-like in our attitude. Walking in the footprints of the one who suffered the greatest blow, who hung bleeding and suffering from a cross, yet still looked toward heaven and said, “Father forgive them.” He didn’t wish the pain on us. He didn’t want us to be hurt. He wanted us to be free. Christ loved us that much.
Getting even is just another phase of sin. Rising above is a satisfying and fulfilling thing. Once above, there is nothing to regret. Be Christ-like in your pain, regardless of its beginning. Seek the forgiveness Christ sought for us for His was very real.
Prayer: God of all Creation, we are weak and fall into the ways of sin easily. Forgive us Lord. Teach us to be the example You want us to be.