Life is full of all kinds of people with different characteristics. In the world, God wants us to be happy and live in love with one another. God wants us to be contented with what he has given us. In spite of God’s goodness and kindness to man; something in man repels him at times to do the contrary. It makes him loose a sense of himself. Anger is one of them, jealousy is one of them. Most importantly revenge is one of them. Anger, jealousy and revenge are dangerous emotions and they are found in man. When a man is unspiritual and does not live in a divine milieu, he allows these aforementioned vices control him. Revenge has done untold harm to man. One would ask: what causes revenge? Sometimes, when a man is provoked especially when he sees himself as a big “Iroko” he feels insulted and the pride in him surfaces. He feels degraded and insulted. His reactions to what the person did or said will become a kickback. He shows it by the way he speaks. His reaction is a sort of fight back for an injured ego. There is no humility in him to calm him down.
The deflated ego wages war, the war that can cause harm to a man who may mean well but misunderstood. It is the cause of pride that leads to revenge. Pride makes us ignore and forget God. The wicked through pride will not seek after God (Ps. 10:4). God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. It is also pride that makes us rebel against the word of God. Pride gives us an exaggerated sense of ourselves and false greatness. Pride makes us feel we are wise. It gives us a sense of “you know it all.” You notice it by the way some parishioners speak and talk about their priests. They incite others to think like them. Where is our religion? Religion of the Scribes and Pharisees? We can now know what Jesus was going through. Hidden motives that target our enemies can never touch the inner self of our enemy. When we really understand Christianity well we will not assume what we are not or fight those who help us know ourselves. Any one that questions us or says what hurts the ego is an enemy and he is walking towards his doom. Prov. 29:23 says that a man’s pride shall bring him low. Ezekiel 28: 2-17 says that the fall of Satan happened because he exalted himself.
One of the causes of pride is material abundance and being the only wise man in your local environs and being held high all the time because your wealth speaks when you are with people. In an uncivilized society, money covers all that is bad in us but only for a while. A proud person is full of revenge and does not want anyone to be on his way. If you are trying to be like him; you become a threat to him. He would like to be the only cock that crows in the town. Humility spares us from revenge. In fact when a man admits his limitation, revenge will not be the order of the day. When he grows spiritual, he begins to see the vastness of the universe full of great men more than us; we begin to stop rejoicing at the down fall of others. We begin to know and see others as members of the universe and they have a right to be in the world created by God and exercise their rights instead of begging for it. We cannot hurt them when they see in us what we have not seen in ourselves. The more we grow in spirituality, the more we come to know that God says, “Revenge is mine”.
Today many people are victims of revenge in the society. Because they speak the truth they become victims. No wonder the world is what it is today because of the absence of truth in the world. There is crisis all over because we do not want to identify ourselves with the truth, and are afraid to call the truth by its name. We continue to live in a world of neutrality. What a hell! No wonder Dante says: “Hell is for those who in times of moral crisis maintain neutrality: can TRUE Christians maintain neutrality? If Christ, our Saviour had maintained neutrality, Christianity would have died long ago. Hang on to truth no matter the cost. Read Ezekiel 4: 27, 30, and 31. “Don’t allow yourself to be dominated by someone who is stupid or shows partiality to influential people. Stand up for what is right even if it costs you your life, the Lord God will be fighting on your side”.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate.