Vengeance Belongs to God

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Forgiving is easy so long as the discussion is non-specific to any individual. Almost every Christian can preach a sermon on forgiveness. Christians explain the Lord’s Prayer to new converts in order to prove that God loves them, and expects them to enjoy forgiveness for their past mistakes (Matthew 6:9-13). Thus, grace heals the hurting through love. It may be easy for the recipient of such grace to exchange love by equally releasing potential victims of his/her vengeance from such danger due to the new knowledge about the grace of Jesus Christ. Occasionally, the wound is so deep that one finds it difficult to forgive. Essentially, forgiveness is to cease to blame or hold resentment against someone who offended us.

Emotional Challenge

Emotional challenges can become obstacles to release the benevolence necessary to forgive harm. Unfortunately, the associated hurt resides in the subconscious waiting for the opportunity to revenge. Sometimes, the feelings are so deep that vengeance or social justice including counseling does not eliminate the pain. Recently, a woman evangelist mounted the pulpit to preach about forgiveness in church. It turned out that she was responsible for causing divisions that led to a serious depletion of the church population. The pastor hoped that her sermon would catalyze a process that leads to forgiveness in the entire church as a body. It continues to be difficult to reconcile the exhibition of raw emotions in reaction to her presence and sermon in the sacred environment of a worship service. One of the elders vehemently declared that he would not forgive her irrespective of any pleading. Even scriptures such as, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” will not pacify the elder (Romans 12:19).

The pastor appealed to the congregation by confirming that the reactions were not out of place, but that Christians equally have a duty to forgive (Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:32). He pleaded that many years had passed since the offending incident and they should let go by forgiving their old friend. Emotions can be deep enough to make forgiving difficult, or rational. Christian must forgive every type or degree of harm. This includes the murder of one’s children. This is why emotions associated with the release of an offender from retaliation are so powerful.

There is a pain, the emotional pain associated with a loss. There is the urge to revenge. This is usually an urge because most times, we do not follow through with our imaginations. Yet, the hurt remains, even if it becomes subconscious over time. Sometimes, pride or a determined requirement for compensation prevents us from forgiving others. The material replacement rarely satisfies the compensation requirement, for instance, restitution. Since the offender remains unsatisfied, forgiving becomes difficult.

Occasions arise when it is much easier to forgive. One may have misjudged the true intentions of the offender, but with appropriate explanations and understanding, forgiving becomes easy. On the contrary, some people lack empathy, they offer co room for grace. When they experience hurt from a loss, they allow resentment to overtake all moral responsibilities and refuse to forgive.

The transition takes power

Hence, it takes power to forgive. It takes power for the offended to move from the emotional level of hatred for to that of loving the offender. The blood of Jesus Christ fills the gulf between the two planes. As the offended appreciates the true meaning of grace from the sacrifice of an innocent man and begins to heal, they acquire the power to cross from the plane of hatred to that of expressing love. One does not hurt whom one loves. Therefore, it becomes easier to forgive the offender. The Holy Ghost makes this wonderful change in one’s spirit and attitudes. The Christian leaves vengeance to God.

 

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