They belong to the Lord, but we sometimes claim them as our own.
The taste of retribution is sweet in the mouth when you have no merciful master or redeemer to soften the hard in you. Then, retribution seems like a perfectly sound practice. After all, it’s easy to destroy reputations, hurt with our words, hold onto resentments and seize the chance to get even.
Much harder is it to forgive, look past insults, and be active agents of restoration.
There was a time when retribution tasted sweet on my lips, too, like watermelon when it’s really ripe, juicy and running down my chin. A lil bit of salt on that and I was in heaven.
That was before I realized the real heaven had a price tag attached to it.
Before I knew Jesus paid the asking price: EVERYTHING!
Before I understood that I don’t have to get even with anyone.
Before I knew the Scripture that says, “As much as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone!”
I try. I really do. Some days the effort expended by holding back is exhausting, but I’m in the habit-forming business and building character takes practice. Besides, I know Jesus is there in the mix and that he doesn’t want me to quit trying.
He doesn’t ever want me to quit trying to be more loving, more patient, more understanding, and more comforting.
Neither does He wish for me to rely on mock strength that comes from being quarrelsome, insistent, confrontational, or demeaning.
Retribution, can I take it?
Sure, I can, but it’s never, ever again going to taste as good to me as it once did. It can’t, because this transformation that is taking place inside of me won’t allow it.
Retribution tastes putrid to me these days, just as it should.
I’m not in “this” to win it.
I’m in “this” to recognize that Jesus already did, and in Him I can find serenity enough to get me through the day without striking back.
That’s what change is all about. That’s what it means to be transformed from the inside out. The old has slipped away. The new has come to stay!
When have you wanted to take vengeance on someone, but the hand of God stopped you dead in your tracks? How has God taught you to carefully consider what is right in the eyes of others, as opposed to what is right in His sight?