Don’t Get Mad, Get Even!

I am sure you’ve heard that expression sometime in your life.
“Don’t get mad, get even.” Or, perhaps you’ve said it. “Hey, I don’t get mad, I get even.”
Our world today is filled with the assertion that we need payback, or reparations, or vengeance. Movie plots are often about the hero was wronged somehow and no one is going to care as much as he or she. So they take matters into their own hands and go in pursuit of “justice.” Of course, what they really mean is vengeance. Payback. Settle the score. Get closure.
How does that fit into the life of a believer? Should we remember “an eye for an eye” and do whatever it takes to avenge ourselves?

Would it surprise you to know that even when God was faced with the betrayal of both Lucifer and Adam that he didn’t get mad? Instead, he had a plan to even the score.
Wait! Don’t get mad and leave. Stick with me, the truth will set you free.

Seriously, what did God do right away when he found Adam and Eve in hiding? He asked them a question, then he gave them a verdict, and then he made a proclamation to the devil.
Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

The very first prophecy of Jesus. Yes, it is. In natural birth the seed is of the man. God was referring to the fact that in the natural terms, the child would spring from the woman; in other words a virgin birth. God initiated a plan to even the score, or to put it better, to pay the balance for man’s sin. To bring man back into covenant and relationship with him. He could have passed judgment right then, if he acted the way we see people in movies and on TV do. Get angry and start trashing things, and make rash and foolish statements and decisions. But God did not get angry. He did pass judgment, but he did so with wisdom and grace toward man, and an eye toward the end of the devil.

And what did God tell us concerning anger and vengeance, about settling the score? In Romans 12:19, and in Hebrews 10:30 God tells us that vengeance belongs to him. That he will repay the evil. “So,” you say, “God is about vengeance. He will ‘get even.'”
Yes, there will be vengeance one day. But remember that God did not fly off the handle, and start storming around tearing things up. He did not instantly execute the devil and the people. And make no mistake, if he executed Lucifer he would have had to destroy Adam and Eve as well for they were complicit in Lucifer’s betrayal. In fact, they were traitors themselves. No, God acted firmly and with a plan to ensure that vengeance was wrought only on those who reject his love and mercy. But even if that was not the case, we must understand that he is God. He is the righteous judge. We are NOT.

Look at what else he said. 1 Thessalonians 5:15, “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.”

What this is telling us is don’t live life looking for ways to “get even.” Let God take care of settling the score, but more importantly live your life filled with joy. It is impossible to have joy if you are angry, bitter, and filled with a desire for revenge. Those things will consume and destroy you. Remember the fruit of the Spirit begins with “Love, JOY, peace.” In John 15:11, and 16:24 Jesus told us he wanted us to be full of joy, and the way to do that is to hold on to what he said to us.

Now let’s say that you have experienced a loss caused by another person, especially one in which that person seems to have done evil with no regard for you at all. In those situations it is definitely a challenge to be joy full. What that person did, and what we’d like to do back to them will be constantly trying to gain control of our thoughts and emotions. If we don’t stop the thoughts we’ll be overcome. But how do you stop those thoughts? It is impossible to NOT think about something. Try it right now. Try to not think about the end of your nose. Try to not think of the tickle there. Can you do it? You can’t. Why? Because your mind will always be thinking. And whatever you allow to land in the nest of your mind will be there until you replace it.

Think of it like this. You have a jar full of dirty water. Those are your thoughts of anger and hatred and revenge. If the jar is left alone then the water will not go away. And let’s imagine that the jar is glued to the counter, how will you get the dirty water out?

Get a bucket of clean water and begin to pour. As the new water enters the level rises until soon the water is overflowing the jar. As you continue to pour from the bucket and the water continues to overflow the jar you can see the water becoming clearer.

There are three things that act like the bucket of clean water for your mind. First, the word. (Romans 12:2, John 6:63) Second, worship and praise.(Psalm 8:2, Matthew 21:16) Third, Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
It is easy to get angry, and it is not so easy to love your enemies, or bless and do good. Your emotions, and everyone around you will tell you you’re justified in how you feel. Go ahead. vent. Rant. Rave. Be angry. Let it out. Don’t keep it in. But God told us to look into the word and find truth that gives strength. As we do we should lift our hearts in praise as we focus on who God is, how much he loves us, and how he has promised to take care of us. And finally, to finish pouring in the clean water we must begin to pray and bless those who have tried to do us wrong.

There is a balance to all of this, but that is for another time. In the meantime, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18)

Thank you for taking the time to read this today. Remember that God loves you and so do I. We both want to see you enjoy the life God planned for you.

To learn more about our God’s love and compassion for us check out these related posts (click the title for the link):
The Secret to Life…One Thing <heartofgodforyou.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-secret-to-life-one-thing.html>
Shattered Dreams; Broken Promises <heartofgodforyou.blogspot.com/2014/08/shattered-dreams-broken-promises.html>

You can also get a copy of my book, a book on the liberty we have in Christ (not nutrition as the title may suggest) on Amazon (click on the title): Eat Healthy…Most of the Time!
Remember, God loves you just as you are; but he loves you far too much to leave you that way!