Pay Back

Don’t Bite The Dog Because He Bit You!

I told Ed that it’s a new term for me, and I wondered if he had heard of “Cancel Culture” or “Call Out Culture?”

He said, “No, I haven’t heard of either term, which is fine with me. Don’t feel that you need to enlighten me about them.”

“Since I mentioned the terms, I feel I should explain them to you. Both terms mean the same thing. They are a modern way of getting even, on social media,” I blurted out to Ed.

On social media, a person or company can be called out for something they said or did and become completely rejected. The person or company is canceled out in terms of respect or buying the company’s products. Once singled out for what they said or did, their explanations or the context of what was said or done may be brushed off.  It is a sign of our intolerant age where it is easy on social media to dole out judgment and rejection of anything with which we disagree.

“People have always wanted to pay back or get even with others for what they have said or done. Many feel revenge is an act of justice, giving people back what they deserve. They like to see them suffer,” Ed said.

I said, “I see Cancel Culture as dangerous. Should we feel we have the right to appoint ourselves as judge and jury because another person has said something with which we disagree? There is value in free speech and hearing other viewpoints. Do we need to stir up hostility when we disagree with another person? Do we have to get even? Why is it so important for us to point out the flaws, missteps, and the offense of others? Retribution is a dead-end street. Austin O’Malley said, ‘Revenge is often like biting a dog because the dog bit you.’”

“I heard a better one about revenge,” Ed offered, “When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.”

“Did you share that one with Ruby?” I asked Ed. “Are you afraid of Ruby getting even with you? He ignored me.

What people say or do may upset us, annoy us, irritate, provoke, or anger us. As Christians, we are called to the example of Jesus. Jesus went about doing good, speaking the truth, and helping people, but his words and actions stirred up anger and hatred. It wasn’t that those that hated Jesus did not have any knowledge, but they were puffed up by what they knew even though it wasn’t the whole truth.  Consider 1 Corinthians 8:1,2.

Only God knows all, and yet there are plenty of people ready to reject, cancel out and call out others as if they were all-knowing or omniscient. God is the ultimate judge, and when we seek to get revenge, we are trying to take His place. Jesus came that we would focus on our own sins and stumbles in life. Jesus died that forgiveness before God could be for all. God’s love is seen when we love and forgive others. Paul said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15) Consider also Proverbs 24:29.

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Raymond Maher
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