Thursday, July 25 2024 - 10:46 AM
Photo by Lindsay Henwood with Unsplash

Sweet Revenge

There is no doubt in my mind that revenge, for all of us, to some degree, feels very, very nice. I am sure it has to do with our very messed up condition. Jesus said our hearts were evil and evil, even in English that has pretty dark connotations. But check out evil in the original language and things just get darker. How else can I explain the warm happy feelings that wash over me when a mean person is treated to a dose of their own meanness? I’m sorry officer; it just feels sooooo good!

Well this week I finally found an alternate, possibly sanctified and acceptable form of getting revenge. Yes, can you imagine? Evening a score and doing good while you’re at it? How wonderful could this be?

My enlightenment came while reading a magazine, walking up-hill at the gym. The title of the article, something about revenge, really jumped out at me—and yes (for you discerning ones) it was because there has been a certain small incident on my mind lately.

What has been bugging me (to use my husband’s favorite “Clarism”) is the word ridiculous. I have nothing against the “r” word, except that it was recently used to describe several significant thoughts shared by yours truly. Ridiculous. At the time, the judgmental finality of its tone quite honestly angered me. At first I thought it must be my own evil condition… but then I got up on that treadmill.

Ridiculous Revenge

I cannot remember much of what the article said, or even if I agreed with half of what was suggested. But somewhere between the title and the last paragraph something dawned upon me. I was bugged by the word ridiculous because I believed in what I had shared, and with my whole heart. This wasn’t an affront against me personally. It was a dismissal of something I believe to be powerful and true. Suddenly things fell into place in my mind.

If you want revenge, first determine why. If it’s personal insecurity or personal pride, forget it. That is what we call “petty people warring.” Not worth it ever. But if you are bugged and want revenge because you believe that a good cause has been hindered or slandered, read on! There is something you can and maybe even must do.

Whereas revenge is about damaging someone who did wrong, our new and truly sweet form of revenge is about neutralizing the wrong that was done or said. The difference is focus. Hurt another human, no matter what they’ve done, and you’re officially busted. But crush the lie they perpetuated or the evil they participated in and you will feel fully warm all over and have done us all a favor.

Frustration a Force for Good

Frustration then, can be a grand force for good. My favorite examples of this are Jesus’ cleaning out the temple, the Declaration of Independence and MADD—Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. Ridiculous Indeed. I now love the ring of that word. And, yes, it will definitely be on a smaller scale, but someday my work will prove the latest use of it wrong again.

I think it was Laurie Beth Jones who said that changing what we hate about this world can bring great purpose and meaning to our lives. I don’t think I could have said it any better myself.

Clarissa Worley Sproul writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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About Claire Worley

Claire Worley

writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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