Last night, I was frustrated with a certain situation in my life (and not divorce, or Pete or anything related to that!), and then I watched the latest sermon from Joel Osteen and it set me straight (why is it that whenever I am feeling a certain way, watching Joel preach is EXACTLY what I need? God at work, much?!). This week’s episode was entitled, “you can have the last laugh” and is all about situations that may make you instinctively want to get back at them and in worse ways than they’ve offended/hurt you, but taking the high road is the way to go. An excerpt:

God has a plan for us to succeed even when we’re treated unfairly. Our human nature wants to fix things on our own; getting even with someone, repaying evil for evil, but that’s not God’s plan. Scripture says, “Never avenge yourself but leave the way open for God.” You can either avenge yourself or let God be your avenger, but you cannot have it both ways. God wants to be your avenger and make your wrongs right. And God doesn’t just stop at avenging. He goes on and blesses you in front of your enemies. Psalm 23:5 says, “God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.” Part of His vindication is promoting you so the opposition can see it.
Whenever we face unfair situations, instead of being discouraged, we should have the attitude “They may be laughing now. It may not be fair. But I’m not the least bit worried. I know their injustice is preparing the way for God to promote me.” If we can learn to stay on the high road no matter how great the opportunity to make somebody look bad or how much we want to pay them back, and learn to rule over our emotions and trust God to be our avenger, He will bring justice in our lives that will not only make us better off, but better off than we could ever have been on our own.
So true – my knee-jerk reaction was to want to hit back and hit back hard, but in reality, what would that have accomplished? Not a whole heck of a lot. Watching Joel last night made me realize how much more vindicated it DOES feel to take the high road and not let immaturity and selfishness bleed into my thoughts and actions. It’s not worth it. There is much more in life than “getting back at people” – like living and breathing and being thankful for each and every day we have on Earth. Not stupidity and ungratefulness.
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