Imaginary grudge severs human relations Giving back love for hatred is the greatest revenge
THE DEVIL’S PLOY TO RUIN HUMAN RELATIONSHIP : In the latter part of 1960s, I was still in middle school. The village I grew up in, Y Thingkangphai in Chakpikarong sub-division of Chandel district in Manipur, was prospering in those days. Be it education, Christianity, sports, music or human sanity, the backblock settlement was the ‘light giver’ in what was called ‘Lonpi area.’ I was told that a group of ‘Lusheis’ founded a village with the same name on the hill-top of ‘Tharah lei’ in the vicinity. Reportedly, the outbreak of an epidemic forced them to flee to Kawnpui ‘Thingkangphai’ in CCpur district.
In the late 1960s, Pu Laldenga’s MNF movement was at its peak. Boys and girls of my village, Y Thingkangphai were also recruited. Songs like ‘O Bolna Vangkho Daidap Tante’ was composed by Capt. Hempu Haokip to poetically express concern for his parents as duty called. Some insurgency-related activities took place. Christianity was the casualty. The village located between Imphal river and Chakpi river never recovered its shine and spirituality. Development did a ‘Kadam-Taal’ there. Mark Twain saïd, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is poured than to anything on which it is poured.”
KILLER HITLER WAS NOT A TRUE BELIEVER: Any form of insurgency sheds blood. God warned of bloodshed in Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” It’s a universal truth. Shedding ordinary man’s blood had ordinary consequences; but shedding the innocent blood of the extra-ordinary Son of God brought about far reaching ramifications.
Christians link the ‘holocaust’ of early 1940s to Matthew 27:25, “Let His blood be on us and on our children.” This happened immediately after Guv Pilate declared, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood,” he said, “It is your responsibility (Matt. 27:24).” Prejudice and imaginary grudge shaped the annals of history. The victims of the holocaust and their descendants always held the cruel Hitler responsible. He was one such, but an incorrigible hatred for Christianity has been attached to the catastrophe just because Hitler was a ‘nominal Christian.’ Layers of faith are there. A mass killer like Hitler whose doctrine also tortured Richard Wurmbrand, (A spiritual Romanian Minister) could never have been a true follower of Jesus. The cruelty of the pseudo Christian like Hitler, who was a genocide aficionado, made the Jews hate for no reason.
GIVING BACK LOVE FOR HATRED IS THE GREATEST REVENGE: These imaginary grudges are kept alive from one generation to another. The past triggers the present to ignite the future. The spin-doctors of doom bury reason and drum up ‘treason.’ Jingoism adds fuel to the fire. Lord Jesus, apart from His divinity, was also a man of woman-born Himself. He knew pretty well that the virus of fleshly thoughts would surely affect growth in faith in Him. So, to remedy the malady of hatred, He prescribed Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Christ knew that a hardened sinner would not easily come around to forgive his enemy. So at the end of the Lord’s Prayer that He taught His disciples, the Saviour added a reward and penalty clause also, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matt. 5:14 & 15) ....” this wisdom cost war and losses to humans and Nations. But taking the Word of Jesus to heart resulted in peace and blessing. It has been proved that “Giving back love for hatred is the greatest revenge.” Giving back hatred for hatred proved calamitous to many. Paul put the matter straight in Romans 12:19, ‘It is written, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.’
FORGIVENESS MELTS HARDENED HEARTS : The Scriptures teach every believer to ‘bury the hatchet’ and put on the ‘balm of forgiveness’ on any real or imaginary wound. US Prez Jimmy Carter brokered peace between Egypt and Israel in 1978. President Sadat and PM Begin shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for the Camp David Accords. Begin quoted Ecl. 3:8, “A time for war and a time for peace.” But the provisions of the Accord could not sustain to yield lasting results because the Biblical forgiveness that Jesus insisted on in Matthew 6:14 was sadly missing. You need a new heart that comes out of identifying yourself with the suffering our Lord underwent on the cross for our sins to be ‘able to forgive.’ “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).” A forgiving heart is the fruit of repentance and confession of sin. It comes only to a new heart washed clean by the blood of Jesus. In 1999, Missionary Staines was burnt alive by fanatics with two of his minor children. He was serving lepers. The wife of Graham, Gladys Staines, said, “I forgive the killers of my husband and children.” Revival became pandemic. She was awarded Padma Shri (A high civilian award in India) in 2005. The world was moved by her forgiving heart. A forgiving heart spills love when divine forces are at work.
EGO MEANS ‘EDGING GOD OUT:’ Ego of men is invisible but is harmfully irrepressible. Clashes of giant egos led otherwise peace-loving world citizenry to destructive wars in human history. When neither party to a dispute is willing to humble themselves, chance ignition of combustible situation takes place. The Bible in James 4:10 says, “Humble yourself before the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” Ego can make men go berserk.
Two hot-headed persons were bound to cross way on a narrow path on a steep hillside. The unrestrained pride in their hearts made them unwilling to give a leeway to the other. They collided head-on and fell down the deep gorge. Two goats met on the same narrow footpath. They had the instinctive wisdom to survive. One laid down on the floor of the path and paved way for the other to walk over its body. Both were saved to proceed to their respective destinations. Humility is the ability to empty self of arrogance. Jesus was the best example of humility. Phil. 2:8 states, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross.” God took note of the cost of His Son’s humility. Christ was lifted in the highest place of honour. He is the ‘cross-over Saviour.’
THE FEET-WASHER OF HER HUBBY’S KILLER: When we harbour a grudge, in the moment of weakness, the grudge in turn, becomes bitterness. The target person is not affected much. The virus of bitterness eats up the vitals of the ‘lungs’ of peaceful breathing of the hater. Acid hurts the container more. Our takes on people become tainted and lopsided. Forgiving a wrong done to you will scale down your grudges to ‘ground zero’ and lift you up to enjoy the 2.0 version of your own self. A few decades ago, an evil police officer killed a righteous man and his young son, reportedly, in South Africa. The father was hung on the branch of a tree with the son shouldering his dad’s weight. The wife of the killed man was asked by Court, “What kind of punishment do you want for the murderer?” The Godly woman stood up on the witness box and said, “The two persons I love most are no more. I have no one to love now. I forgive the killer of my hubby. Send him once in a month to my house. I will wash his feet and serve him.” The Court broke down in tears. All present stood up and sang the hymn, “Amazing Grace How Sweet The Sound,” in revival mode. Forgiveness gave glory to Lord Jesus.