There is a pernicious seed that is programed into the heart of almost every man. We see it in movies, books and even short 30 second commercial storylines. It’s revenge. There’s no telling how much money we’ve all shelled out at the box office to see the hero stick it to the man. We all love to see the evil genius outsmarted by the victimized underdog. The music swells, the truth is revealed, and the good guy rides off into the sunset making the world right for all the good guys and damsels previously in distress. And the villain lies vanquished in the mire of his own failed, wicked plans. Revenge triumphs! Most myths and legends proclaim the thesis that revenge is sweet.
The only problem with this fantasy is that revenge doesn’t work. Maybe in Hollywood, but there’s no “particular set of skills developed over a long career” that makes revenge satisfying in the long run. Our culture seems to run on revenge fuel. There’s a wide variety of revenge tactics such as angry tweets, public “gotcha” questions, and straightforward verbal (or even physical) combat. Paul reminds us that the only one worthy of vengeance is God. Any path toward revenge is futile and terribly unsatisfying. Revenge fuel will gunk up the soul and lead down a perilous rabbit hole of dissatisfaction. The next time you find yourself marinating in a pool of vengeful scheme, turn your eyes upon the one righteous person who had every right to seek revenge as he suffered on the cross, offering forgiveness to his torturers while never compromising His values and identity. Embrace that vision and we will all understand the nature of godly manhood.