Just last week I was listening to a recent sermon by Louie Giglio on the Passion City Church podcast. Louie has been in a relationship series over the last several weeks and this particular topic took me by storm. I was so moved that I wanted to share the insight I gained with you today in this post.
Have you ever considered why it is that we as a culture place such emphasis on revenge? When we are wronged (for any reason) or even when we feel so, our immediate instinct is self-preservation. If you are anything like me, this most often comes out in traffic. I hate to admit it but I have some of my worst moments in the car. Maybe someone cuts me off or stops prematurely at a yellow light? For the life of me, I cannot help but to lose my mind and overreact. My behavior is beyond unacceptable but there’s something in me that just takes over. This something is my need for revenge…
I feel entitled to a rude response. I feel as if my responsibility is retaliation. How dare that person; who does he (or she) think he is? Don’t they know who I am? What gives him the right to behave in such an unreasonable manner? He must pay and I’m just the one to deliver justice. The ridiculous nature of these thoughts is the fact that I myself act in the very same manner that would create these same feelings in those with whom I interact every single day.
The way that Giglio puts it in his sermon that I referenced at the beginning of this post is that we judge others by their actions and judge ourselves by intentions. Intentions cannot be observed. The irony in this is that we can justify regular changes to intentions, which leads us to our self-preservation mentality. Intentions that are inconsistent with actions lead to hypocrisy, whether we will admit it or not….
It would be incredible if we could bring ourselves to value relationships and reconciliation more so than revenge and retaliation. This will happen only when we lower our views of self through humility and service and elevate our view of those around us. It sure would be nice if we all (me included) could permanently RETIRE from retaliation….