Recently I was helping some church family to move under some stressful circumstances. While I love them dearly, I was disturbed to hear all of the negative things coming from their mouths: everything from complaining to plans for revenge and even ideas to pray that everything would turn out bad for the person they believed had wronged them. (I say believed because I don’t really know all of the circumstances so I cannot be sure who all was in the wrong.) Admittedly, when things are pushed on us or when we are hurt by another person, especially another Christian, our hearts break and some unpleasant (to say the least) feelings come forth. However, the condition of our hearts is something we must guard tenaciously, as directed in Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flow the issues of life.”
Complaining is the easy road. I know because I’ve traversed it many a time. I’ve gotten mad and the first thing that comes to mind to do is whine about it and make sure everyone else understands what a difficult time I’m going through or how much I’m sacrificing. My grandpa has a saying that he often uses in jest, “Sounds like there’s too much I in me.” While complaining is certainly the easiest thing to do, it is not the healthiest. In fact, the more we verbally regurgitate how we were wronged, the worse it feels, the worse it sounds, and the more discouraged we get. I tend towards optimism as part of my personality, but when I do start to complain about something, it makes me feel worse about the situation and then I get angrier about how much worse I feel. This probably has something to do with the fact that I know good and well the Bible instrusts us not to complain about anything, but rather to rejoice in our sufferings. Read the first chapter of James.
Also, when we seek revenge– even if only in thought– we are not acting in love. Whether friend or foe, we are commanded by Christ to love others. Even in the Old Testament in Proverbs we are exhorted to bless those who curse us. The two commandments of Jesus are to love God with all that we are and to love others as ourselves. If for no other reason than this, we should act in love towards all people. Jesus said, “If you only love those who love you, don’t even the sinners do that?” It takes the Holy Spirit within us to cause us to love those who hurt us. And only forgiveness can heal us. As Tyler Perry puts it, forgiveness is not for the other person, it is for you. As long as you continue to hold onto what someone has done to you, no matter how wrong or hurtful, the wound cannot heal and you cannot regain the power that that hurt took from you.
Give your heart fully and unreservedly to Christ, and no one will be able to break it where He cannot mend it to perfection.