Tag Archives: retaliation

No More Spit in Soup

Story of the Day for Monday April 30, 2012

No More Spit in Soup

Do not repay anyone evil for evil . . . “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he’s thirsty, give him something to drink.”
Romans 12:17, 20

Ray Stedman recalled a story that took place during the Korean War. Some officers rented a house and hired a Korean boy to cook and do housework for them. He was a cheerful, good-natured young man, and the soldiers soon had a lot of fun playing practical jokes on him.

They would nail his shoes to the floor or balance a pail of water on the door so that when he opened it, the water would come splashing down on him.

But no matter how many tricks they played on him, he always took it with good humor.

The soldiers eventually started feeling bad about the mean tricks they were playing and sat down one day with the Korean boy.

“We’ve been doing all these mean things to you and you’ve taken it so nicely. We just want to apologize to you and tell you that we are never going to do those things again.”

“You mean no more nail shoes to floor?”

“No more,” they assured him.

“You mean no more water on door?”

“No more.”

“Okay, then,” he said, “no more spit in soup.”

Isn’t retaliation wonderful? It gets us through the tough times in life by giving us the satisfaction of knowing we have evened the score.

We enjoy “pay back time.”  If we didn’t, Hollywood would go belly up, because “getting even” is a major theme of movies.

The logic of retaliation is to “fight fire with fire.” But, if you fight fire with fire, what do you have more of? You have more fire.

If you fight evil with evil, what do you have more of?

Jesus came up with a wild, radical notion. He thinks you should fight fire with water.  You fight evil with love.

Dr. J. Stuart Holden conducted worship services for the British Highland Regiment. While in Egypt, a sergeant told him how he became a believer.

“A private became a Christian while we were in Malta,” the sergeant told Holden. One night, the private came in exhausted, but took the time to kneel outside his tent to pray.

Annoyed by this, the sergeant said he took off his muddy boots and slapped the soldier on the side of the head. But he just went on praying.

The next morning the sergeants awoke to find his boots by his tent, cleaned and polished.

“That,” the sergeant said, “was his reply to me . . . I was saved that day.”

                                    (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Who’s Calling the Shots?

Story of the Day for Monday January 30, 2012

Who’s Calling the Shots?

                 When they insulted Jesus, he refused to return the insult. 

                                                1 Peter 2:23

I know a guy who wears a grumpy face and looks like he just flunked out of Charm School. When I smile at him and say “Hi,” he normally just scowls and says nothing.

 

While driving through northern Wisconsin, I was listening to the radio and was jolted by the words of a Jewish man who survived the Nazi holocaust.

After Hitler’s regime collapsed, some Jews were intent on seeking vengeance against the Nazis. They were plotting how to torture those who had worked under Hitler.

But the Jewish holocaust survivor on the radio said he would meet a fellow Jew and ask, “Do you like the Nazis?”

“Like them!” the other man would spit back, “I LOATHE them!”

“Then, why do you want to be like them?”

 

When we lash back against those who have hurt us, we inevitably begin to resemble the ones we’re angry with. “They hurt me.” we conclude. “Well, I’m going to give them a taste of their own medicine.”

We become like the ones we hate.

We may not be aware of it, but when we fall into this way of thinking, we surrender our freedom to decide how we will behave. We relinquish that prerogative to those whose behavior we find disgusting. If they’re snotty to us, then we’ll be snotty to them.  But we must understand clearly: our adversary is now the one calling the shots.

 

Jesus never let others dictate how he would behave. When they hammered his body on a cross, his enemies smugly assembled to taunt him and enjoy their triumph. But Jesus refused to trade insults or make threats.

Jesus’ enemies didn’t choose his behavior; he did.

 

Michael Green tells a story that goes something like this: A man goes to a newsstand to buy a paper. He politely asks for a daily newspaper and the man working at the kiosk rudely shoves it at him and, muttering, hands him his change.

As a friend observes all this, he asks the man as they walk away, “Does he always treat you so rudely?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so.”

“And are you always so polite to him?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Why are you so nice to him when he’s so rude to you?”

“Because I don’t want him to decide how I am going to act.”

 

My sour-faced friend may never smile and return my greeting. He doesn’t have to. He doesn’t get to decide how I choose to behave.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

 

Refusing to Return the Insult

Story of the Day for Monday October 3, 2011

Refusing to Return the Insult

                    When they insulted Jesus, he refused to return the insult. 

                                                                1 Peter 2:23

 I know a guy who wears a grumpy face and looks like he just flunked out of Charm School. When I smile at him and say “Hi,” he normally just scowls and says nothing.

 

While driving through northern Wisconsin, I was listening to the radio and was jolted by the words of a Jewish man who survived the Nazi holocaust.

After Hitler’s regime collapsed, some Jews were intent on seeking vengeance against the Nazis. They were plotting how to torture those who had worked under Hitler.

But the Jewish holocaust survivor on the radio said he would meet a fellow Jew and ask, “Do you like the Nazis?”

“Like them!” the other man would spit back, “I LOATHE them!”

“Then, why do you want to be like them?”

 

When we lash back against those who have hurt us, we inevitably begin to resemble the ones we’re angry with. “They hurt me.” we conclude. “Well, I’m going to give them a taste of their own medicine.”

We become like the ones we hate.

We may not be aware of it, but when we fall into this way of thinking, we surrender our freedom to decide how we will behave. We relinquish that prerogative to those whose behavior we find disgusting. If they’re snotty to us, then we’ll be snotty to them.  But we must understand clearly: our adversary is now the one calling the shots.

 

Jesus never let others dictate how he would behave. When they hammered his body on a cross, his enemies smugly assembled to taunt him and enjoy their triumph. But Jesus refused to trade insults or make threats.

Jesus’ enemies didn’t choose his behavior; he did.

 

Michael Green tells a story that goes something like this: A man goes to a newsstand to buy a paper. He politely asks for a daily newspaper and the man working at the kiosk rudely shoves it at him and, muttering, hands him his change.

As a friend observes all this, he asks the man as they walk away, “Does he always treat you so rudely?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so.”

“And are you always so polite to him?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Why are you so nice to him when he’s so rude to you?”

“Because I don’t want him to decide how I am going to act.”

 

My sour-faced friend may never smile and return my greeting. He doesn’t have to. He doesn’t get to decide how I choose to behave.

                                     (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

 

A Costly Victory

Story of the Day for Tuesday September 6, 2011

A Costly Victory

                     Make sure that no one is lacking in God’s grace and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble . . . 

                                                    Hebrews 12:15

 Sometimes winning is worse than losing.

 

I knew this guy, whom I’ll call Romiere, who confided to me that he used to be a con man. He shared some of his secrets in swindling people, which I won’t divulge because  . . . well, just because. But, since one of his tricks so was so ingenious (and not strictly illegal), I’ll share it with you as long as you promise not to tell anyone else.

Romiere would walk into a tavern, sit next to a stranger at the bar, and strike up a friendly conversation. Then my ex-con man friend would take off his hat, cover the guy’s drink. “Bet you a quarter I can drink your whiskey without moving my hat.”

“No way; you’re on.”

As soon as the guy took the bet, Romiere would lift his hat, slug down the guy’s whiskey, and say, “You’re right – I couldn’t do it. You win the bet.”

Romiere smiled and said, “I would lose the bet, but it usually took the guy a while to realize I just took his drink for a quarter.”

 

Have you ever heard of a Pyrrhic victory? Around 280 B.C., Pyhhrus was king of Epirus (which was between modern-day Albania and Greece). He fought the Roman army at Heraclea and Asculum and won both battles.

Even though Pyhhrus was victorious in battle, his tiny country sustained enormous losses. The Romans lost more soldiers in the battles, but they could easily replenish their military strength. When one man congratulated King Pyhhrus on his victories, the king replied that one more such victory would utterly destroy him.

In a Pyrhhic victory, you win – but your victory is so costly, you would have been better off if you had not succeeded.

 

Getting revenge is a Pyrrhic victory. Even if we retaliate and hurt those who hurt us, we will pay dearly in the attempt. Hatred breeds bitterness, which rots the soul. Have you ever met a bitter person whom you would label as happy?

 

When Abraham Lincoln was an attorney, an angry man stormed into his office, wanting to sue a poor man who owed him money. Lincoln tried to dissuade him – informing him his legal fees would be four times the amount owed him.

The angry man didn’t care. He wanted his debtor to pay.

So, Lincoln charged his fee, took a quarter of it and gave it to the man who was unable to pay his debt. Lincoln made a tidy profit, the debtor was relieved to have his debt paid off.

But it took a while for the angry man to realize that victory could be so costly.

                                                            (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)