Tag : revenge

“What We Think is Not Always What it Is” by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Have you ever thought that someone was angry with you when they actually weren’t? They just had something going on in their own life that made them appear distant. Or maybe you hadn’t heard from a friend for a long time and you deduced they no longer want to be a part of your life, when in reality they were in a difficult season requiring total focus.

Sometimes what we think is not always what it is.

This week, I was reading in 1 Chronicles 19 where the King of the Ammonites, Nahash, died, and Israel’s King David wanted to show kindness to Nahash’s son, Hanun, upon the death of his father. David sent messengers to the land of Ammon to comfort Hanun. But Hanun listened to the wrong voices. His princes said, “Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Did his servants not come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” (NKJV) So Hanun decided to humiliate David’s servants by shaving them, and cutting off their garments in the middle, exposing them on their backsides. David’s loving intentions were misinterpreted, eventually leading to a war that David’s army won.

Sometimes what we think is not always what it is. Our wrong thinking can lead to worse situations like what happened with the Ammonites.

If you are spiraling—without all the facts—it’s important to go to prayer about what you are thinking. It’s also good to have a gentle conversation with whomever you think has wronged you. It’s the best way to find out and face the truth.

Remember Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (NIV). It’s always best to give the benefit of the doubt and think the best until you actually know what’s going on.

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

Love—Not Hate by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I believe Jesus is crying right now.

He’s crying about the inhumane treatment of George Floyd.

But I think He’s also crying about the violent protests going on around the United States, filled with hate, looting and destruction of property. After all, He represents love—not hate.

I think He could also be in mourning. I imagine Him saying, “This is not what I taught when I walked on this earth. Do you not remember what I told you about those who come against you?” I said, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’” (Luke 6:27–28).

Jesus was known as the Prince of Peace, “Sar Shalom.” He himself said He came to this world to bring peace, not war or angst. In one of His most famous addresses on the Mount of Beatitudes, he brought up the importance of peace: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). 1 Peter 3:11 calls us to seek and purse peace.

Have we as a nation turned completely away from the Word of God? Isn’t there another way to solve the injustice committed against George Floyd, rather than revenge? Proverbs 20:22 says, “Don’t say, ‘I will get even for this wrong.’ Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.”

After all, God is the one who made it clear in both Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:17–19 that he wants to handle any punishment or discipline that needs to be doled out. It’s not up to us individuals. The Apostle Paul reminded everyone of this in the book of Romans when he said, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.’”

I know God is righteous and just. While He does not want anyone to perish, I have seen his Holy discipline acted out many times, at times defending me. At other times, defending others. We just have to trust that He is in control, and that, more than anyone, He hates brutal mistreatment of His children. After all, He knows when a sparrow falls to the ground.

So today, I’m pleading with those who are carrying out violent acts of protest. Instead of making the scenario worse, let’s lift this situation up in prayer, and ask Almighty God to intervene. Let’s remember a situation from years ago when the Children of Israel were fleeing from slavery in Egypt and the Egyptians decided to chase them down so they could haul them back into captivity. With the oppressors on their heels, there was great fear but Moses comforted the Israelites and said, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13–14). And that’s when God opened up the Red Sea and the pursuers were swallowed up by the waters behind them.

Evangelist Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, said this about the scenario going on, “Our skin colors are supposed to help us appreciate each other, not oppress each other.”

It’s time to stand still and let God handle this. Let’s put away the bleach, the torches and the spray paint and appreciate each other as equal, created beings of God—formed into God’s image and molded for relationships of love—not hate.

Categories: Blog