An excerpt from my booklet on pain.
It was during a difficult episode of my life that the Lord brought this message home to me loud and clear. I had been employed by a firm for two years and had been promoted several times. I was experiencing good success and found myself managing a large software development organization. It was during this time that my director flew in to meet with me. I didn't think much of the meeting. I had no reason for concern … my group was performing well. The meeting progressed and I was told that I met my yearly numbers and that I was getting a nice raise and a bonus. As the meeting continued I was told that I was being replaced. The reasons given for my replacement were somewhat political in nature and I could not believe what was happening to me. Denial, the first stage of grief, was settling in.
As the days progressed I was consumed with thoughts of payback. I conjured up e-mail after e-mail of what I would say to the appropriate men that had maligned me. I wanted to tell others of how unfairly I was treated. I felt betrayed and wanted to vent my pain. It was during this time that the Lord began to speak to me about revenge. I remember setting up a meeting with my director's manager … knowing that the session would accomplish nothing I spoke with him anyway … in a sense I was trying to avenge myself. During this time the Holy Spirit began to make me aware of what I was beginning to do. One day, as I sat at my computer composing an e-mail message to an executive in my organization, I heard Him whisper to me "You can go there if you wish … but if you do I will not go with you." I'm not sure that I can adequately put into words the sense that came over me. I can only describe it as the fear of God. I immediately deleted the message.
As the days passed I became aware of my vengeful thoughts. I had never considered that "telling my story" or "clearing the air" could be construed as revenge. I am convinced that much gossip and "prayer requests" are cloaked forms of revenge. This is so sinister and goes so deep. I am reminded of the time in the gospels when James and John were offended at the people of a Samaritan village and asked Jesus if He would let them call down fire on the town. Jesus rebuked them and said "You do not know what spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." You know, many of us act in like manner when we are offended or treated unfairly. We need to learn the lesson of the cross.