July 23, 2018, 1:46 am
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Take the High Road

One of the things that brutally annihilates friendships is betrayal. 

The most common destroyer of business partnerships is greed. 

One of the most disgusting ways of succeeding is by backstabbing the competition. 

Another disgusting way of succeeding is by stealing credit for someone else’s work. 

Have you ever been a target of someone’s envy? Destructive criticism, put-downs and slander are part of this pretty package. 

Whenever you don’t pay your debt, you’re breaking your word and abusing someone’s trust. 

These are just a few of the terrible things that people do to each other in the course of a day. Have you ever walked into an office and heard five different versions of how people did something unconscionable to each other? I have. And I’ve seen worse days. 

What do you usually do when someone does something horribly wrong to you -- like betray you? Or gossip about you to intentionally destroy you? Or manipulate things so that you lose your business and he gets it? Or give the boss negative reports about you to dislodge you? 

What do you do if your spouse is having an affair with your best friend? This is actually a telenovela imitating life itself. 

Many people do the most unbelievably horrid things to each other without compunction. Without batting an eyelash. Without skipping a beat. That’s a good description of a psychopath, by the way. No conscience at all. 

Have you noticed? Some people seem to be, by nature, malicious, despicable and mean. They live and breathe to hurt, exploit, and abuse others. You’ve probably met quite a few. 

In the Philippines, they abound. We might take pride in being described as people who are “hospitable” and “resilient,” but if we’re honest about it, we’re also surrounded by Filipinos who are so profoundly envious of each other that we’ve gained the reputation of being plagued with crab mentality. I don’t think any amount of hospitality, resilience or “it’s more fun in the Philippines” will ever neutralize our crab mentality,  or erase the vivid images of the killings in our streets. 

I’m appalled that the world still hasn’t, to my knowledge, made a global uproar about the 10,000 plus “drug-related” murders in our country. (What’s the latest and most accurate count?  Does anyone know?)

How ironic that the world immediately advertises, “Pray for Texas” or “Pray for Paris,” etc. when the casualties there are phenomenally less than the thousands that have been killed in our streets. Maybe it’s because we’re Third World, where barbarism is expected. 

I know someone whose husband committed adultery with her best friend. Her revenge?  She also committed adultery with her husband’s best friend. Did it give her satisfaction? Yes. Were her children satisfied? Of course not. They were deeply damaged by their parents’ selfishness. 

It’s heart-wrenching how many parents deliberately turn their own kids into collateral damage. 

Had my friend chosen to take the high road, things might’ve turned out very differently -- and much less damaging. 

I have another friend whose husband was unfaithful. Instead of taking revenge or being consumed by bitterness, she chose to take the high road. She focused on taking care of their children. She put up a business of her own (which became a huge success, by the way). And she joined a weekly ladies’ bible study group that served as her anchor and strong spiritual support during her times of anguish and turmoil. 

Did her husband return to her? No, he did not. But to this day, my friend lives a very fulfilled, peaceful, and comfortable life -- the exact opposite of the hell-hole that her husband fell into and can’t seem to crawl out of. 

While we will never be pain-free or problem-free in this world, if we take the high road, if we choose to do the right thing even if it’s the hard thing to do -- we will eventually reap a life of dignity, grace, and abundance. That’s guaranteed. Because God always rewards righteousness.

God always rewards obedience. 

We never have to take the low road. We shouldn’t. Because vengeance is the Lord’s. That’s one of his most powerful promises to us. We don’t even have to lift a finger. When it’s God who inflicts punishment or discipline, it hurts immeasurably more than any kind of DIY Revenge we can ever do! Count on it. 

Pride is always at the root of our wrong reactions to the evil done to us. The bitter truth is -- if we prefer the satisfaction of sweet revenge over forgiveness, we will always  suffer the consequences. 

So make a decision and a commitment to always take the high road. Do it for your own benefit, for your own safety. More importantly, do it for God because He promises to reward you if you do! 

That way, you turn a hurt into a blessing.
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