One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1, NLT)
Who is someone at work that you just don’t get along with?
Or, maybe it’s beyond that. Perhaps you really don’t like this person. Could be he did something injurious to your work. Or, she lied about you.
This person deserves some ill will in return. You’re just the one to teach him a lesson. You can act out in revenge to show her what for, right?
Sure you can.
And yet you know that Jesus calls you to do something else.
“Love your enemies” rings in your heart.
“Bless those who persecute you” echoes in your mind.
“Turn the other cheek” reverberates in your spirit.
What’s a Christian business person to do?
David, a king after God’s own heart, confronted a similar predicament. His king, Saul, tried to murder him numerous times before God anointed David to serve. Tradition held that the next king executed all of his predecessor’s relatives for fear they may lay claim to the throne.
And yet David had a phenomenal relationship with Jonathan, Saul’s son. This friendship prompted David to see Saul in a different light and understand with a compassionate heart his actions.
David seeks out Saul’s descendants not in revenge, but in gratitude.
Your relationship with God’s Son, Jesus, can do the same for you.
Here are 3 Strategies to Transform Revenge into Gratitude at work:
Focus on Healing
David made a conscious choice to focus on healing. He empathized with Saul’s descendants as outcasts for he had once been such. His gratitude for Jonathan displaced his inclination towards revenge.
You choose how to see yourself and others at work. Many times the pull of the familiar, even when miserable, is stronger than the push of the unfamiliar.
David chose to focus on healing, a forgiveness of past transgressions, knowing that while Saul and Jonathan were dead, he could still experience the healing power of forgiveness and share it with others.
Focus on healing in your relationship with your work antagonist. Forgive him whether he asks for it or not. Forgive her regardless of her deserving it.
Transform revenge into gratitude and heal yourself as you forgive others.
Focus on Helping
David chose to focus on helping. Saul’s family had few if any material possessions. Once royalty, they now were rejects.
Rather than calling Saul’s family to see him for revenge and even death, David chose to reward them. He helped them by restoring to them Saul’s original land and farming operations, knowing full well they would be at a loss to repay the favor.
David helped someone who couldn’t help him back.
Before you think, “You can’t do that at work. You have a profit motive,” remember as king, David served as CEO of Israel, leading the people and managing the assets. He understood a profit motive. And yet he chose to help with no expectation of return.
To transform revenge into gratitude, you remove yourself from the equation and ask the Holy Spirit, “What can I do to help this person?” Such “radical inclusion” as my friend Mike Macedonio calls it reflects God’s unconditional love and extends the healing forgiveness further.
Transform revenge into gratitude by focusing on helping, regardless of the cost.
Focus on Heaven
David discovered that once healing and helping take center stage in your focus, heaven on earth appears. Restoration occurs.
Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, was the only remaining relative. He was crippled in both feet. David had him brought to court, knowing that Mephibosheth expected to die.
Don’t be afraid, David said, I intend to show kindness to you.
He declared that a place at his table be set for Mephibosheth for every meal. He adopted Saul’s grandson as his own son.
What would happen if you invited your antagonist to enjoy a meal together? Just one? Not daily as David did, but only a single meal?
In his 23rd Psalm, David writes, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
Want to taste heaven on earth?
Transform your lust for revenge into gratitude when you focus on healing those who need forgiveness, helping those who can’t pay you back, and on heaven breaking through to earth.
And watch as miraculously you increase your faith with greater joy at work and love God and others more.
Dr. Joey Faucette
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