Stewart Fox was 91 years old and had been sick with pneumonia for weeks and could no longer swallow. A feeding tube was inserted and he was transferred to a skilled nursing facility to recuperate.
This is one of my favorite photos of Carolyn’s parents Stew & Kay Fox
Although he felt miserable he made up his mind to show kindness to the nurses, therapists, aides, doctors and other patients. He took control of his thoughts and resisted the temptation to allow his illness to put him in a bad mood.
He determined to fulfill his calling to live in a Christ-like way, no matter his situation.
He quickly gained a reputation for kindness, patience and courtesy. Stewart’s gentle demeanor stood out in contrast to other loud and demanding patients.
Illness is a tempting time to be cranky but, even then, Stewart was touching lives and was a wonderful role model.
Stewart is my wife Carolyn’s father. I am privileged to have known this wonderful man.
In 2 Samuel 16 we find Shimei confronting King David with insults and stone throwing.
The next time they met, after David regained his throne, Shimei had a different response “and said to him, ‘May my lord not hold me guilty. Do not remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind. For I your servant know that I have sinned, but today I have come here as the first from the tribes of Joseph to come down and meet my lord the king.’” (2 Samuel 19:19-20 NIV)
David’s nephew Abishai wanted to get revenge and kill Shimei. That would be a normal reaction for David. However, David vowed not to retaliate.
Here are 5 ways to resist revenge and enjoy peace today:
1. Determine to Rise Above Revenge
When people are being small, we can determine to “Be the big man or big woman.”
Rise above revenge, don’t stoop to it.
The Bible says: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV)
Keep your answers gentle and you can actually change a person’s demeanor.
2. Stay Positive in the Situation
Lord help me to see this in Your light
Please help me to love as you love
Show me how I can help, not hurt
As much as possible, choose laughter instead of anger and revenge.
3. Kill them with Kindness
The Bible tells us not to take revenge. We are to leave vengeance for God and overcome evil with good.
The Lord says, “‘I am the one who punishes; I will pay people back.’ But you should do this: ‘If you have enemies who are hungry, give them something to eat. If you have enemies who are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this you will make them feel ashamed.’ Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.” (Romans 12:19b-21 ERV)
4. Forgive as You are Forgiven
Maybe David remembered his own sins. He had stolen Uriah the Hittite’s wife Bathsheba, gotten her pregnant and arranged for his death to cover up. It was a despicable betrayal.
Perhaps remembering his own sins helped him forgive Shimei and not take revenge.
What about you? The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 NIV)
And “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 6:23 NIV)
There is no one on earth without sin. But God does forgive when we ask Him.
5. Fulfill your Calling
God has made our calling very clear: “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:21-23 NIV)
Our calling is to live as Christ did and not retaliate or threaten.
We can choose:
What is your choice?