When I was a kid, my brother was 4 years older than me. (And, based on the relative stability of the space-time continuum, he is probably STILL 4 years older than me! By the way, I learned everything I know about the space-time continuum from Doctor Emmett Brown of Back to the Future fame! My family is proud!) Anywho, we, as most brothers closer in age, did NOT get along as kids. We fought all the time. (Hate is a strong word, but I might use it here!) When he was 16 (making me 12), my mom let him host his 1st “boy/girl” party. I was PUMPED…that is, until I found out that I wasn’t invited! No hanging out with “older women”, no being one of the “big kids”, and worst of all, none of the great snacks my mom purchased for the event! (We basically NEVER had GOOD snacks at my house. Everything was…you know…HEALTHY! Ugh! It makes me shudder just to think about it!) So my buddy and I concocted a plan. A more devious, vile plan was never wrought! It was the pure incarnation of evil…AND a pretty clever bit of revenge for a 12-year old who wasn’t big enough to physically fight back with his 16-year old brother! Here’s what we did- before everyone got there, but AFTER my mom put the food out, we took the dog (Hans, a VERY LARGE German Shepherd, NOT the cutesy dog in the pic!) down to the family room and, one by one, let him (ready?) LICK the Fritos, which we then put back in the bowl! Feel free to look back over that, but YEP…you read it right! Right now, you are wondering 2 things: 1) what sort of sick, twisted mind would do such a thing? (Hey, I was 12. Cut me some slack!) And 2) did I ever tell my brother? The answer is “Yes”! I DID in fact tell him…about 15 years later, LONG after the statute of limitations had run out!
Revenge is an ugly thing, isn’t it? When we’re in the middle of it, it can feel SO good, but when we come out the other side, we feel (hopefully) pretty bad about our behavior. One the one hand, Homer, in The Iliad, said, “Revenge is sweeter far than flowing honey.” One the other hand, Jesus says, “Turn the other cheek.” Where does that leave us? The bottom line is this- You may get some serious satisfaction out of a vengeful act. You may come out of it feeling pretty darn good about what happened. But how do you feel the next day? The next week? The next year? How would you feel if your KIDS knew about it? Life is simply too short to go around harboring such hatred- it REALLY doesn’t impact the other person much at all and it slowly erodes your soul. Carrying some of that around? Let it go! Picture a future pastor letting the dog lick the snacks, and decide that forgiveness is a far better choice! (And be thankful that YOU weren’t at that party!) Have a great day, please share this with your friends, and stick with Jesus!