Updated: Feb 25, 2019
It’s dangerous to feel entitled to someone else’s suffering.
The idea that because someone did you wrong means that they don’t ever deserve to feel happiness is a level of selfish that we proudly perpetuate as if we’ve never hurt anyone.
As if we’ve never experienced genuine regret and remorse.
As if we’ve always been perfect.
Where would we be if God treated us the way we treated those who wronged us?
Let's take a brief look at the story of Jonah. God told Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh about their wicked ways and Jonah decided that he didn't want to. After choosing to ignore God's direction and suffering the consequences of that action Jonah does what God originally told him to do anyway, he warns the people of Nineveh that God's judgement is imminent. Upon hearing this the king commands for the people to repent and God decides to show them mercy. Here's the part that stands out to me, Jonah 4:2 says,
"And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil."
Jonah was mad that God forgave them! So much so that he would rather die than live in a world where the Ninevites were forgiven. That's a pretty intense emotion to feel. He literally chose this hill to die on. How incredible is that? How relatable is that?
Sometimes someone hurts or offends us and we sit around waiting for them to be destroyed because they hurt or offended us. Somewhere along the line we though that when the Bible says,
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
we took it to mean that we were entitled to a display of God's vengeance. That is not what this scripture intends and that point is proven in the very next verse when it says,
"Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."
We are to treat people in love and with kindness even when they do us wrong, especially when they do us wrong. In the Forgive blog I remind you that you have to forgive like you want to be forgiven. This is an extension of that as well. It's not for us to wait around to be satisfied in someone's downfall, because but by the grace of God it could be us!
If Jonah hadn't witnessed to Nineveh the blood of a nation would have been on his hands, and for what? The sake of his ego?
As you read this week's blog I would encourage you to rethink any grudges you may hold or any vengeance you may seek. Examine them against the word of God. Matthew 25:45, 46 says,
"Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
God isn't going to judge you by what they did to you, he's going to hold you accountable for how you reacted to what they did.
Where does your pettiness fall on that scale?