Revenge

If I Had to Choose

I’ll admit it—these last few months, I have not been at my finest Christian-wise. I have lost my temper, said words that shouldn’t be said, and generally allowed myself to wallow—no, the better word would be stew—in my own private little pity party.

Seriously, it’s bad. Even I am sick of myself.

It was during one of my self-conversations (you know what I am talking about. One of those conversations where you play both parties and you pretty much act out how it would go)…anyway, it was during one of these where I got myself ramped up. And I mean really, really ramped up.

I found myself praying for vengeance. Not just revenge (but oh, I so wanted that too) but vengeance from God that would make it clear that I am right and the other person is wrong. To be blunt: I wanted pain. I wanted public. And I wanted it yesterday.

Very Christian, yes?

Anyway, there I am praying and plotting this vengeance God is going to dole out on my behalf when suddenly, in my mind as clear as the plans I am describing (in detail), a voice says: If this was their last day on Earth, would you still choose to have your revenge or would you choose for them to be saved?

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. This little self-conversation just took a whole other turn.

I credit the years I’ve had under a good Pastor with good preaching that had me not even hesitating before I answered: Saved, Lord. I would want them saved. No questions. No doubts.

And it’s true. As much as my humanness still craves the validation of vengeance, there is absolutely no way I want to be the one responsible for another person being lost forever.

In fact, from the very beginning, I have prayed that somehow this all would be used to bring this person to God. So what has changed?

Time.

Seasons.

In fact, it’s been almost a year. And, from my vantage point, things are worse now than ever.

As the months have gone by, I’ve grown impatient with God. I want my timing instead of His. I’ve lost sight of that original prayer: Lord, somehow, even though I can’t see it, I know you’re working everything for good. If I have to go through all of this so that they find You, I’ll do it. I don’t like it, it doesn’t feel good, but it’ll be worth it. I trust you.

It’s been a long time since I prayed that specific prayer. I, uh, kind of got caught up praying for … other stuff. The same parties were still mentioned, though, perhaps, not as kindly. Whoops. Sorry, Lord. I’ll try to do better.

And I do. Try, that is. Some days I do better. Some days…not so much.

But that’s OK. God’s not asking me to fix it (probably because he knows all to well how I’d prefer to ‘fix it’ —Whoops, see? That’s my humanness rising up again. Down, human, down). All God is asking me to do is be quiet. I mean, if you think about it, that’s what He did. He basically said “Put up or shut up.”

So, I am actively choosing to shut up. God’s working. All I have to do it get out of his way.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.”

Mark 9:42

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