Validation - the act of validating; finding or testing the truth of something.
Vindication - the act of vindicating or defending against criticism or censure etc.
Vengeance - punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.
Who but God can perfectly, righteously, and with complete objection exact these acts of justice??? So what do we do about our heart's desire for one or all three?
Realize that we can only see ourselves and the situation from our own perspective: Limited, flawed, and biased.
Most, if not all, of the time when an offense is committed, ALL of the parties involved see only what is before them. Only God has the sovereign knowledge and understanding of not only the situation, but of the motives, and desires involved on all sides. Only He can validate our truth as we "see" it. On the flip side, if what we think we see is really the truth, God's is the only opinion we need on our side. Seeking HIS validation of who we are, and our position, should be our highest priority. He promises to reveal all things in due time. Leaving Him to do it, ensures that our validation doesn't come from man...
Turn the other cheek in order to receive God's best for you, instead of His wrath for others: Embrace Meekness.
Because God promises to reveal all things, His vindication is the highest reward we can possibly receive against a wrong spoken or committed against us. Vindication is much better than vengeance because vindication blesses us, instead of punishing others. A great example of this is Abram and Lot when Lot selfishly chose the best part of the land instead of honoring his Godly uncle and friend who had done so much for him. Although Lot's choice did turn around to curse him and his family, this was not God's doing. God's plan was vindication for Abram. Abram's ultimate vindication came in the form of a promise from the God of the universe. Although it did not immediately materialize, it will last for eternity, unlike Lot's selfish choice which conversely was destroyed almost immediately. *Think about this for a minute...Defer the immediate reward of selfish ambition in favor of God's vindication delayed; one lasts forever, while the other is very short lived* God's vindication defends us against slander, selfish ambition, betrayal, etc. which is designed to see us fail, while also blocking the fullness of His wrath against those who sin against the just. I call that a win/win!
Pray for and adopt a more excellent perspective: Mercy
In my [somewhat] matured opinion, vengeance is one of the darkest desires of a Believer's heart. God speaks against it, and it is sin plain and simple. It is sin because like validation and vindication, 1. It belongs to God and God alone, 2. Only He knows all sides of the story, 3. He knows the motives, intents, and desires of the offender; and last but most of all, 4. God and God alone knows how to fit the punishment to the offense. When we humans desire to exact vengeance, not only do we not know all of the facts, or how many chances an offender has had, but in our hurt and finite understanding we almost never envision a just punishment. God is a God of Mercy. Where vengeance is concerned, He desires to give as much Mercy as possible. And He desires to give us the opportunity to grow to be more like Him in that area. Offenses are the best tools at making that happen. Our withholding vengeance teach us Mercy and keep us from the great sin of sitting in God's seat of judgement.
SO...what am I saying? I'm saying that when offenses come, as they surely must, don't look around for blame or retribution. Look up for healing and redemption. Let God do what belongs only to Him, and let Him choose which method most fits the situation. His validation and vindication will always exceed the pain of offense; and, His desire for Mercy will always exceed His hand of vengeance. Aren't you glad.....?
Pray for an offender today my friends, and offer them Mercy. Make Monday Matter!