Monday, July 1, 2013

Dying to the Desire for Revenge

Memorizing and Applying 1 Corinthians 13, One Verse per Week Series, Part 5

Photo by Kelsey (Flickr)
As we grow in our ability to love others – just as God loves us – we begin to behave more becomingly. We begin to notice that we’re caring more about the needs of others than we do our own. And miracle above miracles, we start spending less time moping about how others mistreat us.

These are the challenges we will work on as we memorize and obey our next verse:

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

“Not taking account of wrongs means dying to the desire for revenge.”
 “Dying as a Means of Loving Part 2” A Sermon by John Piper, June 25, 1995

Most of my attitude problems stem from me wanting to be treated fairly. “Revenge” is a strong word and many of us probably wouldn’t consider ourselves to be vengeful, but we may be more guilty than we think.

Revenge could be as “innocent” as bringing up (again!) an unkind action someone performed in the past, or as cruel as shaming someone in public when we reveal personal matters. Sabotaging someone’s success or promotion is also an effective way to dishonor someone.

This week, let’s pay special attention to see whether we are improving in the way we love others.

Father, show me specifically how I can improve my behavior toward others. Reveal to me whenever I put my own needs above someone else’s, or when I’m tempted to hold onto memories when someone mistreats me.
This week’s goal:
To journal my observations on how I behave toward others, including:
  1. how often I put my own needs above someone else’s,
  2. how often I am easily angered by the actions of others, and
  3. whether or not I choose to “remember” someone’s offense against me (in lieu of forgiving them).

What about you?

  • Are you becoming better at loving others? Share your answers with us. (Pseudonyms are allowed!)
Let me know if you would like a copy of any of these verses and what translation you prefer, by using the comment link below. I will email them to you, formatted to fit a standard index card. (Be sure to subscribe to the blog, via email).

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