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Feb 21 2010

Fueling My Revenge

Posted by Mugs @ 4:35 pm in Devotional

By Mugs Manry

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

Luke 6:37 (NIV)

Throughout my children’s upbringing, I have not allowed them to verbally hold back forgiveness. The child wronged is required to say, “I forgive you.” Sometimes, my children have told me, “I don’t want to forgive.” Sometimes I tell God the same thing.

I especially struggle with this command to forgive when an individual does something horrific. When people are attacked and killed, I feel great sorrow for those who love them and great anger towards the attacker. I am distressed and upset when someone rejects love and goodwill for hate and evil. I am ever thankful for the brave security personnel who stop an attacker, shooting him if they must. Yet, I stand in amazement at the medics who work to save his life.

My first response to the medic’s life saving actions is, “What is the point of saving the attacker’s life? Is he worth saving?” Those medics who willingly save the life of their enemy immediately after a shooting are truly remarkable. If a life can be saved, they will save it.

In valuing each life, medics show great character developed through training. I seem to lack this character and ignore my training from the Word immediately after I am wronged. For, I do not want to show mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and love. I want the hateful individual to be shown justice, my determination of justice. When I am in this state of self righteous judgment, I feel so justified in my anger. Yet, the Word reminds me, “In your anger, do not sin…” Ephesians 4:26a.

Justifying my anger and telling God, “I don’t want to forgive,” I found myself listening to a missionary from South Africa speak to my Sunday School class. The missionary spoke of his church being attacked by rebels. The rebels fired on the Christians within the church, and the missionary fired back and repelled them. He told of initially feeling fury at the rebels and nursing an anger and hatred towards them for the wrong they had committed.

He then shared how God began to work on his heart and convict him of unforgiveness. Through the commands in the Word of God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, he eventually repented of his sin and forgave his enemies. After God changed his heart, the missionary started a ministry of reconciliation to the very men who fired upon the people of his church. Through the missionary’s love, testimony, and witness, God changed the heart of the rebel leader and he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Listening to this message, I realized my anger was fueling my desire for revenge. Hatred and unforgiveness of my enemy are unacceptable to God. A person is held accountable for their sins by God and the law, but I am not the rightful judge. I cannot put myself in God’s place, for I do not know who God will save or which heart He will change.

Can we love our enemy? Only through Christ who lives in our heart, can we love our enemy. We must take hold of love, not as a feeling, but as an attitude and an action. We must choose it. We must choose to love, forgive, and pray for our enemy, because God commands it of us.

Dear Lord, Once again You ask of me a hard thing. Help me to forgive and love my enemy. I release the judgment of my enemy’s sins to You, God, for you are a faithful and righteous judge. Please help my enemy repent and find forgiveness and a new life in Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:

Spend time in prayer asking God if there is someone you have not forgiven. Then, forgive your enemy. Look for ways in which you can do good and bless them. Spend time praying for their salvation or deliverance.


If it was in your power to save your enemy’s life, would you?

Does being unforgiving harm you or your enemy more?

Is it possible for God to bring your enemy to salvation?

Power Verses:

Luke 6:27-28 (NIV) “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

James 1:19-20 (NIV) “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

6 Responses to “Fueling My Revenge”

  1. Tami (sis) says:

    Again Mugs…i’m grateful God uses your writings to convict me and show me HIS ways. Thanks so much for this.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Mugs, Thank you for sharing. It is necessary that we not hold unforgiveness because He commands it. Anything He requires He will enable and empower us to do if we look to Him. I have a saying: I wanna want to, but I don’t want to; and if You don’t make me want to -I won’t want to. I’m so glad He takes my “wanna want to” and turns it to “want to” so that I can please Him.

  3. Nissa says:

    This was definitely deep, powerful and heartfelt….thanks for sharing….

  4. Mugs says:

    Carolyn…your saying reminds me of the father who told Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”

  5. Sherri Easterday says:

    Hhhmmm thanks for giving me a new perspective in this area. As a medic it matters little to me who I help, save or touch. I’m driven by the sheer awe of human life and the great responsibility on my shoulders. I try very hard to treat the worst of the worst just as I would the sweet little old lady, yet never relating that discipline to forgiveness and revenge. Oh how we like our revenge, if only in our minds, countless hours are spent plotting and planning. But you as so right, “for I do not know who God will save or which heart He will change.”

    Awesome, thanks….

  6. Kathy says:

    Sherri, Thanks for the reminder that you are a medic. I pray for those who have helped Howard in the past and now will remember you also. Blessings on your day.

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