Retaliation #1 – Don’t Retaliate, Bless
Isaiah Combs | Worship Leader/Young Adults Director
I would say I am a hot-tempered person. During my early teens to my early 20s, I developed a no-nonsense reputation. My reputation was built on my temper and repaying people’s negative action toward me. Whether that was with words or actions, I was not to be shown up. I made it very clear to people that I was not afraid to retaliate, and I would let my temper get the best of me.
It did not take much to set me off. I am sorry to say that I hurt many people, and I was not the light I was supposed to be.
I know I am not the only one that struggles with anger and retaliations. Anger is not the sin. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry and do not sin.” Even Jesus was angry in Matthew 21:12, “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.” Jesus was angry, but He did not sin.
Retaliation is the sin. My retaliation to a word being said to me or actions being done to me has been less than Jesus-like. I have been kicked out of countless games due to retaliation against other players and referees. I believe it was only Jesus who saved me from getting into serious trouble in the military from letting my temper get the best of me. I also need to thank you, Lord, for my wife who has dealt with my anger and me for a long time.
I have learned that Jesus is the only way to help me with my anger. The Bible has many verses about the right response to anger. Proverbs 15:1-4 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. “ James 1:19 says, ”Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
Peter was a man known to lose his temper. He was quick to open his mouth and quick to draw his sword. However, Peter was changed and forgiven by Jesus. 1 Peter 3:9 says, ”Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
It is hard to repay blessing for evil. It is much easier to blow up. Yes, they probably deserve it. Yes, wives and kids can press the buttons that tend to put you in a place you never thought you could be. Yes, I know people love to run their mouths. Yes, it takes work. Yes, you feel weird. But…
Bless them that you may obtain a blessing. The blessings of God are much more satisfying than the satisfaction of retaliation.
Do not Retaliate, Bless.