Wrath, also known as “rage,” is one of The Seven Deadly Sins. It may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Of course, we all get angry, but anger–when viciously acted out–can lead to serious consequences
Our own personal anger can manifest in different ways, including revenge.
People cheat, lie, steal, and kill, out of revenge.
Sometimes we take revenge on someone we say we love. We see many disturbing news stories about one jealous family member killing another he is supposed to love. Revenge is the instigator.
But–out of revenge– we can also destroy a person with gossip–nasty words to kill his or her reputation. And that, too, is serious stuff.
How and why does this happen?
True love never breeds Revenge. It breeds forgiveness.
Getting revenge, holding a grudge and refusing to forgive are all born of anger. These seemingly little acts of anger grow up to be big acts of anger which have the potential to hurt many, including ourselves.
An obsession with vengeance is about finding an object on which to pin all our anger and fear and rage. Revenge is the inability to understand that we can’t punish the natural world, and that Nature isn’t specifically malicious, just impersonally brutal at times.
Revenge can eat away at us until it becomes something separate from our own personality. We don’t think clearly, speak rationally or feel compassionately. We are not ourselves. In fact, we are destroying ourselves.
We may not have control over the things other people do which anger us, but we do have control over what we do when we feel angry.
When our “anger button” is pressed, our immediate reaction may be to strike out and “get back” at the person who hurt or offended us. A big challenge will be to take time out to cool down before we take any action. This step demands much self-discipline, self-control, prayer, and a strong desire to become a wholesome person.
When I’ve been so angry that I’m on the verge of revenge, I remember this old adage.
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” — Confucius