Monday, May 6, 2013

Vengeance, it's more dangerous than you thought...

Vengeance is popular; it's socially acceptable.  The plot of many stories, major movies, and TV series, -- all thrive on revenge.  Narratives throughout the ages have tapped into this most basic human experience.

But.  You've known from your youth, "Two wrongs don't make a right."
You know the Bible's strong warning to not take vengeance.
You've never heard of anyone who was very successful in "getting sweet" revenge...
Still you entertain the idea.  Don't do it, it won't end well.

Have you ever asked: Why is vengeance so unhealthy, for those seeking to dish it out?

For starters:

  • When we seek to take vengeance,  we are saying to God, "God, we can do your job of judging and repaying people for the wrong they do, better than you can..."

  • Revenge consumes us.  The old Chinese proverb, "If you seek vengeance, dig two graves." This proverb doesn't mean that revenge is instant suicide or that you are in an immediate danger.  Eventually, revenge drains the life out of you.

  • Vengeance never quite satisfies.  Your loss isn't returned.  Your act of vengeance doesn't compensate for or bring back the past.  The most extreme example of this truth is: If you had loved one die, no amount of vengeance will bring them back to life.  

  • Vengeance doesn't drag you down to your offender's level; it lowers you below their depravity.  

  • One area you might not have considered though, is vengeance is deceptive -- it's completely based in lies.  You don't announce your sneaky plans.  You don't warn the target.  Sure, you spout out, "I'll get you back -- you'll pay for this!"  But that's a threat at the time you use to wound the other's emotions, to cause fear, to bully.  It's not honest and open.  Revenge only works when you lie.  You lie to yourself, thinking that the revenge will make you happy or happy again.  And, you have to lie to your target.  Revenge won't possibly work if they know your tactics or your timing, so you have to maintain the lie to make your fatal move...

So basically, vengeance make you neurotic, rots you from the inside out, dishonors you, and turns you into a liar.  Let me know how that works out for you.

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