Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vengeance vs Justice

Many of us have suffered injustice at some point of our lives, whether it's by someone we know or a complete stranger.  They've hurt us with their vicious words, despicable acts, or fierce brutality.  When we least expect it, we become their victim.  We endure a loss.  We lose our innocence, self-respect, and our will to live.  We are vulnerable to the fear they instilled in us.   Fear now wears their face.

The hands of time move forward but our memory is frozen in the moment.  We dwell on their vile whispers and remember their smug faces.  After a while, our anger erupts like a volcano and we seek revenge.  We think of the many others who will be spared if we avenge it now.  We convince ourselves that vengeance and justice amount to the same thing.

But we are not called to take vengeance.  We've been called to seek justice.  Although there is a fine line between them and they resemble each other, there is a difference.  Vengeance is a harmful action against the individual(s) in response to a grievance; while, justice implies actions undertaken and supported by a legitimate judicial system, by a system of ethics.  Revenge works outside the boundaries of judicial or ethical conduct.  The goal of revenge usually consists of forcing the (perceived)wrongdoer to suffer the same or greater pain than that which was originally inflicted.*

Let us not deceive ourselves.  Revenge will not make us feel better.  It will not help us bury the past.  It will only bandage the wound while it really needs to breathe.  Justice,  on the other hand, is the ointment for the pain.  It will heal us in time.  In the end, it will give us the satisfaction that we didn't raise a finger against the person, yet they were brought to justice all on their own.  Be it in a courtroom by a judicial system or an intervening Higher Power, someday the heinous act(s) they committed will be avenged.  Not by us but by the God who loves us so much,  He makes everything come to a full circle.  "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

In my last post, I spoke of wrongs that were done against me and some of the things I survived.  It took much courage on my part to write that post  (I thank you all for your warm response).  I debated if I should be so open with you all, but then realized we are called to minister healing onto others.  We are God's ambassadors, appointed to carry the torches of  love, truth and peace.  Not repaying anyone evil for evil but we are to overcome evil with good.

After all, only God knows and only God can.  We continue to hold onto our faith and allow Him to do what He does best.  He will pull us out of the fire and though sometimes there are scars left behind, we survive.  We live on knowing sooner or later, He will avenge our pain and heal our wounded hearts.  Justice will prevail.

Copyright © 2009 by Ellie Kings
Art by Jim Murphy
*notes from Wikipedia


Katie Ganshert said...

Thanks for being so transparent, and for sharing your wisdom! Blessings to you on this Wednesday evening!

Tabitha Bird said...

Sometimes even justice is not possible. I hold on to the fact the God is a just God and eventually He will make things right.

Maria I. Morgan said...

Thank you for sharing your heart and being willing to 'minister healing to others!' We may never understand why God allowed something to happen in our lives, yet I'm convinced that He can 'work all things together for good!' Keep writing, Ellie, only heaven will reveal all the lives you've touched and pointed to Him!! God bless!

V. S said...

Lovely post! Nothing is too difficult for God, always remember he has a plan for you.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

This is such a great reminder, Ellie! And what a beautiful portrait! Thank you! You showed tremendous courage in your previous post but I know God used it to minister to others.

Susan R. Mills said...

Revenge never does anyone any good. My current WIP deals with this issue, so it's close to my heart right now. Beautiful thoughts about it. I need to read your last post. I must have missed it.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Your post is so beautiful and true.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I love that our God owns power and He will have His day and His time to deal with cruelty.
~ Wendy

Mark said...

What you say is interesting. I am not convinced that God has the same sense of right and wrong as we do. God is love and I don't believe love seeks justice nor revenge. I believe as you said God loves all of us and that he does so without prejudge and that he wants not to inflict what we call justice on those who we believe have done us wrong.
Love is what we are and love does not judge what is right or wrong, love simply loves.

Anonymous said...

When I was a younger adult, I saw revenge toward those whom had hurt me. But with age came more wisdom and I realized that revenge upon others would not change how I feel about myself... I had to do that alone, with the help of God. Through his grace and love, I was able to overcome any need to avenge wrongdoing. Thanks for the beautifully written post, Ellie. God bless :)

Dulce said...

Beautifully written. This blogs give us the chance to open our hearts to the world. It's healing and sharing is always welcome..

Jill Kemerer said...

When vile things happen, it's hard to understand how to forgive, or even what it means. For me, it means getting to a place where I can honestly pray for the offender. I'm a firm believer in not putting myself back in the line of fire, though, so I take care to avoid the person or situation in the future. I'm sorry you've had to deal with so much, but I'm glad you have a good attitude.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Thank you all for your insight on the subject and also for your kind words. Lately I've been working on other things and my WIP, which is why I'm not posting as often. But when I do, you all make the experience worthwhile. I promise I'll get to your blogs, just bear with me. :)
Much love!

Craftsman of light said...

Thankyou Ellie for this post....your mindfulness pours it light on me,i've been missing you!

dianne said...

Thank you for visiting my blog Ellie, I thought I would come over and say 'hello'.
When people hurt us,break our heart, abandon us, ostracise us and I am speaking from recent experience ... there is nothing to be gained from revenge, it just lowers us to their level.
Let them go, I'm sure one day someone will do the same to them, I believe 'what goes around comes around' and I'm not going to make myself ill worrying about someone who would hurt me so.
Better a broken heart which will heal than a wound which is kept open with anger and want for something I cannot have. ♡

Tamika: said...

I almost missed this wonderful post- it didn't show up in my dashboard. Weird.

I love that you continue to allow to share in your wisdom. Though you have experienced a world of hurt you remind us that the power to love is the real healing.

Thanks Ellie for being open and willing to be real.

Betty said...

Just found you though anothr blog.
Thanks for sharing a part of you with us.
I'm following.

Jody Hedlund said...

Forgiveness can be a powerful healer for us. But vengence can push the seed of bitterness deeper!