Monday, June 4, 2012

What is Revenge About? But Self.

Seriously?  Too often we read the word “revenge” or even “vengeance” and run from it like the plague. As any good Christian should.  Right?

But what if we really understood what it meant?  What if we really understood the culprit for justice or the lack thereof was us?  That’s right.  Me, myself and I!  What if we finally got the reality and truth that the whole battle is within?

I was surfing the net for definitions of motivation, motive, and the like.  At the end of the list of alternative derivations was this word: revenge.  Are you kidding me?  I’ve always prided myself in being one who did not seek revenge.  If I were, there would be a wake of bodies spanning 51 years and counting.

But as I began to understand the language and what motivation was really all about, I realized; the death of self is at the heart of motivation.  The revenge of sloth and apathy sets the true core values of any and all motivations and visible victories.

Regardless of how noble or spiritual, I got saved because I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO HELL.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, full well knowing I’m a sinner, without hope except in Christ.  But, let’s be honest.  I was keenly aware of my own skin.  I was sharply aware that without a way out, I was toast.  Now I may be the only Evangelical Pentecostal Assemblies of God Ordained Minister who admits that, but if so please take a number.  Or leave a message of complaint on my cell phone: 515-491-8285.

Since I was raised in a middle class Christian family, work ethic was part and parcel to who I am.  I’ve worked hard since 1974.  My first tax related job was at McDonald’s cooking fries on Sundays.  And that was way too much pressure for the rosy cheeked-puffy-lipped-fair-skinned-kid-in-a-hairnet from the northwest side of Des Moines.  Plus it interfered with my church life.  And for that I would not bend.

Then Captain Hanks Fish & Chips restaurant was my next place of employment.  Thanks to Jac Perrin, my dear brother-in-law (Love ya Jac!).

Not long after the stench of fish got the best of me, Sears Roebuck Co. called me.  Because a friend of mine, Kevin Ullestad gave me a job lead in the Paint Department; thanks Kevin!  We won’t even speak of our youthful activities.  For the sake of our former District Superintendent and their next door neighbor Rick Lang, I’ll ignore the mid 1970’s.

Anyway, as I understand it, revenge is something akin to self-deprecation.  Well actually it’s more about killing yourself in the name of hurting others.  So as I studied motivation, I realized motivation was really about self-preservation with a self-destructive twist.

I mean, if God’s will was that I die, so as to find Life in Him, and that were to be my “motivation” for forward moment and advance; then revenge against myself would be the answer… right?

The Apostle Paul wrote of dying to self.  Jesus even spoke of crucifying one’s self if we we’re to follow Him into eternal life, but can I say, nobody ever fully explained that process to me while growing up in church.  I grew up on the northwest side of Des Moines.  That should explain a lot.

But what is at the heart of this pursuit is the intrinsic nature of motivation.  What causes us to “go for it” or to run for the prize?  Hunger?  Thirst?  Nakedness?  Shelter?  What?

For almost 52 years I’ve been a resident on this planet.  And only now, am I coming to realize that motivation is deeper than a check book balance or clear skin.  Only now am I realizing that motivation is about self-depreciation while elevating the very substance of who we are.  Get it?

I am nothing – but I am everything as the object of love from an eternal God who pursued me as I ran in the opposite direction.  That’s so crazy and counter intuitive I’ve got to take a break.  I’ll return later when my instant coffee kicks in.


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