This is a very important question, that goes to the heart of our Christian life and struggle. I hope you will join me in approaching it very sincerely.
As you know the Lord said, ‘Leave revenge to me’. This is very profound. Negative people who are hurt and angry love to put their pain out on others. To seek revenge in kind perpetuates hate in the world. But there is a spiritual way to deal with it in what the Lord has said. We need to make the pain we feel be between us and God, in taking it to God we can regain full self agency. In seeking revenge against the other person we are giving away our self and power. It is not even our real self doing that, but it is a part of ourself that seeks only to fight, hate and protect.
To do this We need to make the distinction between our internal and external self. In God’s divine order our external self is meant to be led by the internal self, just as God leads our true self. Many people are not even aware of these. The internal self is our core self, and the core self is is led by God. To allow ourself to be led by God we must have innocence and humility. The core self is well resourced, it is what the Lord speaks of when he says, ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’. The core self is sovereign; it inherits the earth because it is true to itself and God, and to the degree we manifest it good things come to, and it is skilled at dealing with problems.
The core self seeks to hurt and harm no one, in this sense it is compassionate and gentle in spirit. But it is also very strong, because it is our conscience and seeks truth and to be right with God. Our reactive self just wants to be right for itself no matter what, causes strife and pain. You can tell you are growing when able to make these kind of distinctions within yourself. We are not and will never be perfect, but we can take ourself back from these painful entanglements. As we claim our sovereignty we potentially effect and change old patterns around us, so others are not off the hook at all. This process is its own reward.
So here is what we do. We must take our pain to God and lay it as His feet. We must feel the pain very deeply, examine the desire for revenge; we must feel the hate very deeply and completely as we can, and honestly; as we feel this in deep grief our conscience shows us what we have become, and there is a deep desire to be what we really want to be. Even though we can’t see Him, God is with us all the way, and we come to be able to feel Him.
In truth He is closest to us during these trials of our life! He is our Father, Mother, Friend and Comforter that parents us where we have been abandoned and left alone by others. In experiencing this we know ourself better and let go of that external protector that merely vies and perpetuates pain. We don’t expect ourself to be perfect we just keep growing. We come to see that between the internal and external self there is a ‘rich field’ where we can feel what comes from others and can feel the pain, but not let it in to control our core. It is very important to feel deeply, and then to articulate to ourself what the feeling is about. This brings understanding of how the ‘game’ works. As we understand the cause of pain and the process of dysfunction we see how it works and can stop it and set the borders with others, or stand up to things from a good conscience.
It is little known that all thought is proceeded by affection. Thought is all motivated by the affections that stimulate them, and the mind articulates and defines our direction. So we have deeply meditate on the kind of feelings we want to entertain in our soul. It is important to see that feelings like revenge can be like an addiction, they are sticky and gummy in our soul. We need to dissolve them in the rich field I spoke of many times over to gradually be free of them.