Someone has done someone wrong. A hero came and got revenge on the evildoers. Writers and moviemakers have made millions of dollars creatively portraying this storyline.
I watched again for the umpteenth time the movie The Count of Monte Cristo. Alex Dumas tells of a pure hearted man, Edmond Dantes, betrayed by his best friend and exiled to the Alcatraz-like prison, the Chateau D’if, for 13 years. Solitary confinement and an annual beating led him to despair. A fellow prisoner tunneling to escape, emerges into Edmond’s cell. He educates Edmond and tells him of a hidden treasure. When his cellmate dies, Edmond escapes by putting himself into the body bag and is thrown over the cliff into the sea. He discovers the treasure hidden on the isle of Monte Cristo. He returns to his home town wealthy beyond imagination, full of hate and set on revenge. But eventually all the hate sickens him, he changes his heart, and becomes a man dedicated to doing good things with his wealth.
In another story, he was betrayed by leaders blinded by selfishness, friends who misread their instructions, a spy with a hidden agenda, and a close friend who let him down three times. Jesus knows how it feels to be betrayed. He knows how you feel in your betrayal. Read Luke 22.
We have all been done-wrong, lied-to, cheated, scammed, betrayed, stolen from, or deeply hurt by someone. How we react to the cheaters and liars is important to our sanity, peace and joy.
You could go into revenge-mode: get even, watch Charles Bronson in Death Wish or Mel Gibson in Payback or Russell Crowe in The Gladiator, or devise some diabolical passive-aggressive way of getting-even with that person who betrayed you. Not a good choice.
You could go into regret-mode: beat yourself up, go through life with overwhelming guilt, or sink into depression suppressing your anger so deep into your soul you cannot cope with normal life. Some even to go as far as Judas Iscariot and commit suicide. Please don’t go this route.
You could go into repent-mode: do as Peter did when he denied Jesus three times, he went out and wept bitterly. Later Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him. Three times Jesus told Peter to go back to work feeding His sheep. Jesus forgave and restored the repentant Peter. Read John 21.
Quit blaming. Blame means be-lame. Quit blaming religion, an enemy, or a close friend who let you down. Start trusting the perfect Savior who offers perfect forgiveness, and becomes your perfect advisor and friend who gradually restores those damaged emotions.
You can play the blame-game & never get over it. Or you can play the name-game and trust the Name that is above every name – Jesus!
Worship with us this Sunday at 9am. Find Pastor Denny’s messages at BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media.” Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity.