In honor of Women’s History Month, ladies enjoy this “bad girl” series as we share our personal connections with women in the Bible who are notorious for being bad.
Vengeance is MINE!
My grandmother told me to protect my reputation at all costs. She advised me that my reputation would outlive me, my children and my children’s children. Those words have always stuck with me. Woe to those who crossed me and attempted to ruin my name. It never turned out well. I used whatever tools I had within my disposal to defend myself and exact revenge. Although I could be as sweet as pie, I could hold a very mean grudge. He didn’t know it but he soon found out.
For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to…Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered. At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter. (Mark 6:17-19; 21-25 NIV)
I’ve always been a person with a bit of influence. People would open up to me and tell me their life stories and ask me for direction all the time. Generally, I don’t take this lightly but I must confess a time I intentionally abused this “power” to wreak havoc on someone else.
Some years ago, I worked with a guy who I thought was a “friend.” Instead of showing himself friendly, he stabbed me in the back and did his best to ruin my good name. Unlike John the Baptist, he wasn’t telling the truth. I felt powerless in the situation and no matter how I fought I couldn’t influence any decisions surrounding him or clear my name. Resentment, anger, hostility and rage were brewing in my belly and although I tried I couldn’t let go of the hurt. Nearly a year later, I had my chance to get him back and I seized the opportunity. It was a time when he needed me and didn’t even know it. People were talking and asking questions that could shift his fate for something that he badly wanted. Oh how I smiled when people asked for my opinion. I didn’t coerce anyone to talk to me nor did I break any rules, I just simply told “my” truth. I revealed the true character of the person and encouraged people to consider another choice. I did it all with a smile and thought “You will learn not to EVER cross me again.” When I realized that my influence shifted the dynamic of an outcome and killed his dream, I relished in my “power.” That’s what he got for lying on me and trying to ruin my reputation. I felt vindicated.
Although I didn’t cause a physical death, I was just like Herodias. She couldn’t stand John the Baptist because he said that her marriage to her husband’s brother was wrong. He was accusing her of adultery. Imagine how she felt she was the wife of the King, yet embarrassed by this “commoner.” Who did he think he was? The scripture says she “nursed” her grudge meaning that she fed it and took care of it. I am sure her grudge grew over time. She wanted blood and when her time came, she got it! She used her influence with her daughter for evil instead of good. Unfortunately, in the situation I illustrated above, and a few other times, I’ve responded just like Herodias. Even when I’ve known better, I’ve allowed my emotions to control my actions. I’ve held grudges waiting and waiting until the perfect time to influence or manipulate a situation. I allowed my nursed grudges and desire for revenge to separate me from God’s instruction:
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21 NKJV)
I need Your help! This isn’t a past trait but heavenly father; You know that even today I am nursing grudges. Lord, help me to let go of all past hurts, wrongs and lies. As You instruct me through scripture, help me to not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. God, I ask that You help me to be a good steward over the “influence” that You have given me. Let me stray away from anything that resembles Herodias. Remind me to only use my power of influence to do things that honor You instead of insult and disobey You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to “kill them with kindness.” Don’t nurse grudges! Instead of plotting, manipulating and influencing, take the situation to God in prayer and let Him work it out. He doesn’t need your help! Remember that you lose time, energy and productivity when you are focused on “paying someone back” rather than focusing on the things that God has instructed you to do.
Can you relate to Herodias or my story? Share your story with us.
Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”