Sunday, October 23, 2011


This fall I started watching the show, Revenge, on ABC on Wednesday nights. It's on after all my comedies I love so much. I enjoy it and think it is a really well written show, but it is an interesting concept and always leaves me thinking and pondering about things. For any of you who don't know about it, it is about a woman who returns to The Hampton's where she lived when she was a small child with the plan to exact revenge on those who betrayed her father. He was wrongly convicted of a crime and betrayed by people he trusted. The daughter is taken away from him and he dies in prison. She returns, years later as an adult, to make those people pay. The need for revenge consumes her. This is the part that seems to leave me thinking. Can revenge really bring you happiness or that peace of mind you have always been seeking? I don't think so. I have never really been a vengeful kind of person and have never wanted to make people pay for hurting me or those around me. That isn't to say that I am not going to tell you if I think you are in the wrong or I don't lose my temper with those people because I do. We all do. But the idea of purposely trying to hurt someone else or ruin their life, I just don't get it. It just seems crazy to me. I guess I am not sure what drives someone to revenge. Is it hurt, betrayal, sadness, guilt, or just sheer pleasure? I do believe that guilt can be a big reason for many though. Some can't face their own mistakes or problems so they feel the need to take it out on others. This week on the show there was a quote at the end that I found interesting. The daughter is speaking about guilt and she says this:
"Guilt is a powerful affliction. You can try to turn your back on it, but that's when it sneaks up behind you and eats you alive. Some people struggle to understand their own guilt, unwilling or unable to justify the part they play in it. Others run away from their guilt shedding their conscience until there's no conscience left at all. But I run toward my guilt, I feed off of it, I need it. For me guilt is one of the few lanterns that still light my way."
That is a powerful statement and in this case it appears that the guilt that the daughter couldn't do more for her father all those years ago is what drives her revenge. I guess there has to be something that drives it. I will admit that I have had times in my life when I have thought "man I can't wait until karma comes around and bites that person" or I think "I want to be there and watch what happens on the day they are judged for what they have done", but I don't believe that is me seeking revenge. I think we all have thoughts like that sometimes when our natural feeling is that we want to see someone have to take responsibility for their actions. We want to see justice happen. I have never had the thought that I want to ruin someone's life or I purposely want to hurt them. I don't wake up and think I am going to see if I can hurt this person today, make them feel unsafe in their life, or see if I can get them fired. Maybe because I have been on the receiving end of someone's revenge, but I don't see what it accomplishes. I still think you have to deal with the reason that you feel you need to exact that revenge on them. Why do you want to hurt them so much? It doesn't make you a better person or make you feel good. It can't possibly. It can't give you peace simply because it isn't the Lord's way. He extends mercy to those that hurt him and he expects us to do the same. This can be so hard to do, to not react to it, to turn the other cheek if you will, but it is the better and the more Christlike thing to do. I always try to think that way even if I am not perfect at it. Sometimes I will admit I want the justice over mercy. I once heard a quote that says:
"In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior." I hope that I can always try to be a person who rises up over revenge and doesn't let it consume me because it seems to be poison to the soul and I for one don't need that. I don't share these thoughts to upset anyone, that is never my intention, but to simply express them since it is something that I have been thinking about the last few days. We have all heard the term "Revenge is sweet" but I say it's bitter and will only leave a bitter taste behind when it is exacted.


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