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Hurt people hurt people
Pastor Jon Enter
by Pastor Jon Enter
January 5, 2024

The Big Book of Revenge: Dozens of Wicked Ways to Have the Last Laugh. That was the title of a book donated to our church garage sale. And its pages were highlighted! Revenge isn’t just a problem in the world; it’s a problem in the church. 

We love stories of sweet justice and swift revenge. We know we shouldn’t, but when the bad boss, the cheating spouse, or the unethical coworker get what they deserve, our sinful nature smiles. And we aren’t afraid to bring our own revenge. From the condescending comment to that bozo driver, to bad-mouthing the boss in the break room to the passive-aggressive way we treat our siblings or in-laws, we fight fire with fire. 

What actual firefighter battles a house blaze by throwing gasoline into the flames? It would make a bigger fire. Hurting someone who hurt you doesn’t even the score. It adds pain. It makes the fiery feud bigger. 

Why do it? Well, hurt people hurt people. We want them to experience the pain we’re enduring. Jesus knew this broken logic was coursing inside us, so he gave this specific word order of the Lord’s Prayer. “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4). Plead to the Lord to forgive your anger, resentment, and want for revenge. Release the hurt. Hurt people hurt people, but forgiven people forgive people. The way to finally end the hurt isn’t with more hurt; it’s with forgiveness. That forgiveness starts in you.