According to the ancient teachings, when a person is born into this world the spirit given to that person is struck with forgetting. Anything that was known before being born is erased from the mind, making it necessary to start all over learning all the lessons of life. One of the strongest is the control of emotions, and the temptation to take revenge is one of the strongest emotions of all.
Children are born with an innate knowledge of when they are being taken advantage of, and the flesh-and-blood system responds with a surge of adrenaline that would make a competitive sportsman blush with shame. The perceived emotion is the desire to “get even” or “even evener than even.” The obligation of parents and the community is to train the child to become the master of those strong emotions before the emotions become the master of the child. This is not easy, as there are four basic personality types, and each of them gains control through a different mechanism. One of the mechanisms common to all four types is logic delivered through the use of words.
If logic is to be used as the mechanism by which the training is delivered, then the words used need to carry more power than the emotions that are pumping freely from the adrenals. One of the most effective is the concept of ownership. Here is the logic that has that power.
We are all made in the image of God. When someone does something evil to any living thing, it gets immediately transferred through that living thing to the God who gave it life. All life comes from God because God made life and he owns every thing has has life in it. That means that the evil was done against God and not against the living being that we see here on earth. That means that we don’t own the hurt. God owns the hurt that the evil caused. Since God owns the hurt, only he can make the decision as to whether to retaliate, when to retaliate, where to retaliate, and in what measure to retaliate. We are told that God says, “I will repay.” We are also given knowledge of when he will repay.
There are three choices on the “when.” Now, later, and in the final judgment after the person’s human body dies.
Let’s use a boy as an example to avoid the he/she thing. God is no respecter of persons, gender, or anything else except love and how we treat each other.
If God chooses to repay now, there will be immediate consequences, like a bank robber being caught before he leaves the bank who gets caught and put in prison.
If God chooses to repay later, that person’s life could become a living nightmare when other people do the same kind of things to him and he has no way to defend himself from it. The last option gets really interesting. We are told about the judgment in a lot of places, and it goes like this.
When we die, we go through a long black tunnel and are met by beings on the other side. When we have lived a reasonably good life, avoiding hurting people as much as possible, we are met by family and friends who welcome us and show us around where they live and where we will be living with them for the rest of eternity.
Very soon after we get there we are called into judgment, and the angel who has kept a record of all the things we did opens the book and reads it to the judge. The angel writes all the good things on one side of the page and all the bad things on the other side of the page.
If there is anything in there where we have hurt someone else, that person that we hurt is called into the judgment hall to face the person being judged. If that person is still alive, the person being judged is taken down to earth while the person he hurt is sound asleep in the middle of the night, and that person’s spirit is asked to stand before the person being judged.
It’s not necessary to say anything, because all the hurt is shown to the person doing the hurting on a movie screen in his mind, and the emotions from the person he is hurting are playing like a sound track while the movie is playing. He feels every hurt, every disappointment, every positive and negative thing he put the other person through.
When the movie is finished playing, his own conscience tells him if he is guilty and how guilty he is. He is then returned to the judgment hall for a while as the person he hurt thinks about what would be a fair and just response to the injury. If the person who was hurt decides that there was nothing good about the situation, then that evaluation is sent to the judge, and the judge finds the person being judged to be subject to the maximum penalty, which can be as severe as destruction of the soul, called the “second death.” That person and all memory of that person is simply erased like writing on a whiteboard, just like he never existed. He will never have a chance to hurt anyone ever again.
If the person who was hurt remembers that the person being judged did things that were good, that can be taken to the judge and the person who was hurt can decide what would be a fair response, one that would “balance the scales” between the good and the hurt. The judge usually decides if that really is fair, and if so, that is what is done.
A person can get a lot of forgiveness in exchange for the kindness or even the dedicated fulfillment of obligations here on earth during his lifetime.
God will repay in his own good time and in his own way, but he often leaves the details to the people who suffered here on earth.
The time to decide what response, whether it is revenge, forgiveness or a balance between the two, is later, not now. It belongs to God, not us here on earth, and he can do a whale of a lot more damage to a really mean person than we could ever think of doing down here. Sometimes it very comforting to think of the kind of trouble the person on the other end of the hurt will be in when he gets before the judge upstairs. God will repay.