Friday, July 31, 2015
No Need to Retaliate
The grace of God is indeed a wonderful thing.
Today, I recognize that I do not need to retaliate against anyone.
The goodness of God so far outstrips the hurt and setbacks of others.
For the longest time, I was so easily and upset by the remarks which other people made to me.
A sense of outrage, a sentiment of "payback" was dominant.
Most importantly, a sense of shame and condemnation would follow me around because I did not take down people who had been mean, rude, or downright unpleasant.
I still have not answered the question yet -- where this "pay-back" mentality came from.
But the more that I meditate on the truth that the Lord is my shepherd, the less I feel the need to make people pay for their wrongdoing.
The gift of righteousness is really something, and something that we keep receiving.
This revelation is quite new to me. Still is.
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5: 17)
This is a gift which we keep on receiving, for that little word "receives" carries in it the intense, large revelation of ongoing reception.
For the longest time, I had the upsets and wars in my head, the sense of frustration, pressure, and shame that I had to do something about how I felt.
I had to talk to someone, I had to write something, or I had to payback people for hurting my feelings.
Oh brother, the pain never ends if we are constantly looking at how we feel, and making those sentiments the final authority in our lives for, well - just about everything.
That need for retribution goes all the way back to the fact that many of us simply do not believe what the Bible says.
"Vengeance is mine. I will repay" (Deuteronomy 32: 35)
Yet a sense of condemnation used to follow me around a lot if I did not make people payback. Then there was the never-ending kicking-myself: "How could I let you do that?"
The answer is in that one word "I" and breaking free into a better, true identity:
"Herein is love perfected among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)
We are not trying to get rid of every bad feeling in our lives any more, for everything that we have in this life is a gift from God and His Son Jesus, Life personified and made real to us.
There is no need to retaliate when we understand that in Christ, there is no condemnation (Romans 8: 1).
Today, I can relate why I felt the way that I did. I grew up with someone who was constantly fighting with people, taking everything personally.
Yet even then, why do people take everything so personally in the first place?
If we do not believe that every sin and shame and bit of condemnation has been eaten up, paid for in full at the Cross, what else can we expect but to take people down a notch?
As long as we walk around with a false or a poor identity, convinced that we are still wrong in some way or about something, we will feel a need to retaliate against others.
There is no need to retaliate, there is no reason to be angry all the time, there is no need for me to apologize for how I feel or do not feel anymore.
Posted by Arthur Christopher Schaper at 1:00 AM