My thoughts (Genese Parker):
It takes a lot to get under my skin; enough to actually make me angry. In fact, in almost every instance, the people who have been able to push me to that fiery, red-hot, place where I can feel the smoke coming out of my ears have been the people who are the most important to me. I don’t recommend seeking revenge against people who make us angry, or even the people who seem to be making it their personal goal to destroy our lives. Although, I will admit that there is a certain level of honesty and intimacy that comes with sharing our most angry thoughts and emotions with God.
“Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!
Let them vanish like water that flows away;
When they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along…” (Psalm 58: 6-8)
There is something boldly refreshing about praying such a prayer. God knows our every thought, our every feeling, our every dream and hope. So why not talk to God about what we are truly thinking and feeling? To often we choose to go to a friend to vent about that “crazy co-worker who is out to get us”. But how much more effective would it be to talk to God about the challenges that we are facing? David was very honest with God about how it felt to have people in his life who wanted to see his destruction. He even went as far as to ask God to punish them, to “Get them, before they get me!” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that asking for the destruction of others is really what God wants us to request, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19, NRSV) Only God can judge the actions of human kind.
But I do believe that God honors our willingness to be open and honest about exactly what we are going through, and exactly how we are feeling, even if those feelings are angry and ugly thoughts of revenge. There is an authentic intimacy in admitting to God that the struggles and challenges in our lives push us to places that we are not proud of, places of extreme anger and frustration.
Questions of the Day: Is there a person or situation in your life that is pushing you to the edge? When was the last time that you were completely open and honest with God about what you are thinking and feeling about this person or situation?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.