Revenge is sweet, isn’t it? No, that’s the great deception! Revenge gives the illusion of being sweet. The truth is, grudges and revenge simply harden our heart and separate us from God. Revenge is a product of our pride (which often gets us into trouble, doesn’t it?).
Mark 6:18-20a (TNIV)
18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man.
Let’s first look at what pride is. Many people confuse this term with the same term that means being proud of an accomplishment or a satisfaction from something we have accomplished or done. NO, the “pride” the Bible so often speaks of is having such a high of your own importance that you feel superior. This “pride” almost always leads to anger, hatred and bitterness.
I used to say to people, “What does the Bible say about pride? It says it comes before the fall!”. Then I discovered that the Bible doesn’t actually say this, however, I do believe that it is a wise statement. Here is what the Bible actually says:
Proverbs 16:18 (TNIV)
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
It’s interesting to me that we can’t see this more in our lives. Are you willing to do almost ANYTHING to win? And I am not talking about sports competitions here, although in a sense pride can be bad there also. Are you always right and everyone else is just simply uninformed or ignorant? PRIDE causes us to blur our values. The issue becomes more about us than it does about right and wrong.
If at ANYTIME in your life, hatred and bitterness start to creep into your life………better check your pride.
Also, interestingly enough, our pride very often rears its ugly head when our sin has reared its ugly head. Two head’s aren’t always better than one. In fact two UGLY heads almost always spell disaster!
I had lunch with a friend yesterday that confessed to me a great sin that he had committed. This sin, I could see, was deeply rooted in pride. Fortunately, my friend was very repentant (that’s why he came to me) and wants to set the record straight. He is saying NO to pride, before it starts to turn into anger and bitterness (this usually comes after your sin is found out) and in humility, is seeking hard to set the record straight through repentance.
Left unchecked, holding a grudge, pride and our sin often lead to anger, bitterness and in some cases even murder! Desire must not master our lives because these things keep us far from God; indeed, they keep us far from the great healer in our lives……Jesus! ONE SINGLE desire or sin left unchecked and left unrepented can harden our heart and can separate us from God! Not only that……they spell disaster in our lives by wrecking relationships and causing our destruction!
Don’t let these grudges build up! Don’t harden your heart against God’s conviction of SIN in your life………that’s simply PRIDE! Remember….two UGLY heads spell disaster!