Hatred and revenge, we all suffer from it

Published 10:38 am Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hatred and revenge, we all suffer from it. A popular comedian several years ago played a trick on a well-known minister.

He called the minister and asked him whether God forgave us for all our sins.  The minister assured him that God, in fact, does forgive us for our sins.

The minister went on to say during the call, that after we ask His forgiveness, we should no longer sin. The comedian was persistent. “Are you certain, pastor, that God will forgive us for all our sins?”

The pastor, probably seeing an opportunity to assist the caller with the struggle he was having with his faith, again, assured him that he could be forgiven for his sins. Putting his trick in motion, the comedian asked the pastor if he was a forgiving man of the cloth. The pastor again stated that he was a person of faith and was required to be forgiving of those who intentionally or unintentionally did him harm.

The trap now set, the comedian asked, “You would also forgive me, too, pastor?” The pastor, not knowing where the conversation was headed, replied yes. What followed next was real comedy. The comedian stated, “Well pastor, your wife and I have been having an affair for the past three months, will you forgive me?”

After a pause, which seemed like forever, the pastor began talking with a speech impediment, threatening the comedian, saying he was going to do harm to him and his wife. The comedian quickly reminded him that he said he was a forgiving person, to which the pastor replied, “As soon as I deliver you and my wife to hell-I will forgive you!”

We generally talk as Christians about not being hateful or revengeful, but few of us can meet the challenge of forgiving someone who causes us or our loved ones harm. God is supposed to fight our battles.

I remember, a former school superintendent whom I worked for, who fired me for openly criticizing teachers changing answer sheets of students who had taken important exams related to placements or promotions. For a moment, I allowed myself to be filled with anger and hatred at what she had done. The emotion of hatred was quickly retired and replaced with that of revenge. I immediately stared working with investigators to bring this superintendent down who ruined the lives of thousands of underprivileged children. In the process I won a monetary settlement for my unlawful termination. The associate superintendent during the cheating scandal was ultimately able to secure a job with a wealthy school district in another state.  On the day that she was to meet the school board and staff for the first time as the city’s new superintendent, she awakened to see her face over an Op Ed piece that I had done for the local paper, related to her complicity in the cheating scandal. She was immediately sent packing.

By the way, I did ask God to forgive me for temporarily for losing my faith.