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Pay Back Time


Issue 026

”I can’t believe it!” ”That is totally wrong!” “It’s typical of the way you
get treated round here!” ”Well they’d better wait – I’ll show ‘em, I’ll
teach ‘em!”

Work can be very satisfying and it can be very painful. It is full of
opportunities for injustice – real or imaginary. Someone can steal
your idea, abuse your good will, slander you behind your back,
manoeuvre you into a corner or even put you out of your job.
Restructuring or mergers mean unwanted layoffs. Early retirements
or downsizing create reduced workforces, disillusioned workers and
disappointed leavers.

The scope for bitterness here is great. Within any one of these
groups an aching desire for justice or revenge can eat into the soul.
Through gritted teeth you can hear the words “Just wait”. Many an
employee is longing for the opportunity to express frustration or
anger at the injustice they experience at work. Indeed much of this
spills out into the roads, the supermarket queues or the pavements as
‘rage ‘ becomes the twenty-first century disease.

In the US (or more commonly in the movies) they call it ‘pay back
time’ and it feels good. It rights the wrong. It kills the bad guy.
But it also destroys the soul. Bitterness is the right word for it. It
eats away at good will and poisons relationships in a working
environment. It creates a toxic workplace every bit as dangerous as
an asbestos room.

So Paul tells the Christians under pressure in Italy, “Vengeance is
mine, I will repay says the Lord,” and Solomon tells anyone who has
the good sense to listen “Do not say I’ll pay you back for this wrong!
Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you.”

If there is a pay back time God will dole out the payments, you just


Romans 12:9-21

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord. 20On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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Series: -
Module: 1
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: anger, bitternes, feelings, injustice, offence, vengeance

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Geoff Shattock

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