“I know you are the King of Revenge so I hope your marriage will be blessed with many children and friends who give you toys with hundreds of pieces that have to be picked up!”
My best man was giving his toast at our wedding ceremony. He was referring to the gifts that I gave his young daughter for her birthday and Christmas. It was actually payback for a time when we were pathology residents. One day, he pranked me and hid my books and microscope throughout the laboratory. I only found them after searching for more than an hour. Payback time! I came in one weekend and hid his books, microscope, and even his chair throughout the hospital! He did not find some of his possessions for over a week and one turned up a month later when someone from another department brought the book to him after tracking him down by his name written on the inside cover.
Vengeance is the action of taking revenge. Even in jest, vengeance is not an appropriate behavior. I would like to blame my reckless youth for my past behaviors but the truth is I still harbor feelings of vengeance. It may not take the form of hiding textbooks but more subtle actions such as passive-aggressive behavior. When someone wrongs me, I may be slower to reach out to help them or less willing to make contact. I bear grudges far longer than I should.
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV)
Jesus elevated this commandment of God to one of the two most important commandments, the first being to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. These are lofty expectations. I do not live up to them and the problem is with me. I do not love God deeply enough to know that whenever I harbor these feelings, I am disobeying and staining my relationship with Him.
After all these years, I still wear the unholy crown of the King of Revenge.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.