Savage is a commonly used term our society has adapted to describe when someone does not care about their actions, seeks revenge, and is pretty much down right ruthless. Savagery usually stems when a person has wronged you,  mistreated you, was disloyal, maybe cut you off in traffic 😒 … You get the picture. Being a savage is the ultimate clapback to get even with someone.

I have used this term MANY times before jokingly to either describe myself or someone. Anyone that knows me knows that I love to joke around and it’s become a fun term to say, but when I really took the time to think about the meaning behind this word, why would anyone be okay with acting this way or want to be known as a “savage”? Why are we praising people for getting even with someone so they can get what they had coming to them?

Take it from someone who has been mistreated, lied to, heartbroken, manipulated… seeking the ultimate revenge is not the answer. It might feel good in the moment, but regret will usually set in over time. What I’ve come to learn is when I’ve been hurt, it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.

Hurt people, hurt people. Misery loves company. Both true statements, but instead of getting even or acting petty, what if we chose to love anyway?

“But God, he cheated on me.” Love anyway.
“But God, she said things about me that weren’t true.” Love anyway.
“But God, they cut corners to get ahead.” Love anyway.
“But God, their actions didn’t match up with their words.” Love anyway.

Wayyyyy easier said than done. I still don’t have this one down all the time, but this is what God asks us to do:
“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”  (Luke 6:27-30)

Ouch! Give when they chose to take? Pray for that person when they spoke ill of me? And you really want me to just stand there, God, and take it when they’re throwing jabs? That’s hard and in no way fun or fair! But loving them anyway will liberate you! It will prevent your heart from filling up with unforgiveness and bitterness. Choosing to forgive empowers you! Loving them anyway will mature you and make you a stronger person. We’ve all been wronged, but don’t let that shape you into becoming someone God never intended you to be.

We live in a world where people are hurting everyday. God has called us to be a light, not part of the problem. Even if it means laying down our pride and taking what seems like an L. Love is who God is and should be the essence of who we are.

We don’t always know what people are walking through when they offend us. And that should NEVER justify their actions, but should cause us to filter our response through grace. To take a second and really think before we send that text or write that passive aggressive Facebook post or let those hurtful words leave our mouth. Choose grace. Choose kindness. Choose love. Our response to their offense could change their actions and the way they think in the future.

Next time someone seeks to hurt you, don’t go the savage route, choose the Jesus route. Love them. Pray for God to change their heart. Being a savage only affects you in the end. Choose to keep your heart pure for the benefit of yourself and others.