14. Resolved, Never to do anything out of revenge
Revenge is, according to the dictionary, punishing others for a perceived wrong. As in soap operas or movies, we may think of killing or murdering as the sort of punishment that is in view here. I can hardly believe the author had only that in mind.
Say your employer denies the raise you asked of him. What shall you do? If you respond lowering your productivity, then you might be acting out of revenge. Say your mother tells you are not to going to that amusement park. What will you do? Perhaps grumble a little or accept it. But then, your mood changes. For a day, for a week and so forth. Or perhaps you plunge into inmorality. You might be acting out of revenge.
Going back to the working place example. Perhaps the employer is not appreciating your hard work and effort. You perceive this as injustice. Whether this is true or not, it's not the point here. Whether this injustice is big or small, still it's not the point in view. Question is: would you be willing to suffer this injustice? Or would you be quick to complain and act faithlessly?
Bottom line is this: we are quite unwilling to endure suffering.
There is a positive side to such unwillingness to endure suffering. It points us out that suffering is not the way things should be. Moreover, it brings along a desire for another world. One where suffering will be no more. Such world will come one day and its author would be our God and Father. Hoping this is key in our daily fight of faith.
But acting out of revenge manifests a bad unwillingness to suffer a wrong because it seeks to destroy the surface cause of the wrong as the sure way to eliminate the suffering and its consecuences. And someone who gets at the point of revenge has firstly convinced himself that suffering is not to be endured because suffering itself is pointless.
But suffering does have a purpose. A true disciple of Christ expects it to happen along his journey. He recognizes the vine needs maintenence to grow properly. The Gardener prunes the branches so that the vine grows more and more fruit. Imagine how much more wine can be had then!
Enduring suffering in this fallen world isn't an easy task. At the end of the day, we must take heart that if we are in Christ even suffering is not for our ultimate destruction but only for our good. Our Father truly loves us and so gives us always bread instead of stones. May our hope be in Him forever.
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)