New Message: Birthday Bash Day 1 - We're giving away an apparel bundle. Enter now! Close

Esther: Day 5

Power, Pride and Anger

by

Today's Text: Esther 3:1-15, Psalm 37:7-9, Proverbs 29:22-23, 1 John 2:16

Text: Esther 3, Psalm 37:7-9, Proverbs 29:22-23, 1 John 2:16

“And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury.”
- Esther 3:5, ESV

I sit in my family room nestled under a blanket on my couch, thinking about this chapter in Esther and how uncomfortable I am with implications of evil. Power, pride and anger are a dangerous combination.

I had the honor to spend time with a woman who survived the Rwandan Genocide. She told me the story of how she was hidden in a small bathroom with 15 others for several weeks. Power, position, prejudice, and a long-standing grudge between the Hutus and Tutsis’ ended with the death of over 800,000 lives. Her encounter with God and His protection is what got her through those dark days of evil.

Charles Swindoll wrote in Esther, A Woman of Strength and Dignity, “If we allow anger and our grudges to fester, if we make plans for revenge, we will quite likely end up doing horrible things to others and ourselves.”

I wish this statement were not so true, but we don’t have to look far to see that revenge birthed in anger leads to destruction. It ends up hurting all involved, and the outcome is never what we planned.

Enter the dynamics between Amalekites and Israelites—a vivid example in Scripture of how the dangerous mixture of power, pride and anger puts God’s people at considerable risk. Haman was a descendent from the Amalekites who had a long history of racial hatred for all Jewish people. He was extremely arrogant, and when he was put in the position of high power, he lorded over others. He was enraged when Mordecai, a Jew, refused to bow down to him. His anger and malice led him to an irrational decision—to manipulate the king into issuing a decree to mercilessly eliminate all the Jews. Mordecai, on the other hand, continued to worship the one true God, even in dangerous circumstances. The author of Esther starkly contrasts the hearts of the two men.

Swindoll writes, “No one is born with grudges. Prejudice is not a packaged deal that comes with birth. It’s something we learn; we’re trained in it. We’re not born hating. We must be taught to hate.” Haman was taught his power gave him the right to hurt those he hated. Mordecai was taught that God alone is all-powerful.

What have you been taught about power and pride, and how have others influenced your actions? It is humbling to consider how easily we are swayed to regard others as less than ourselves.

We are all born into sin and have the propensity to act out in evil ways. The more life we live, the more we are influenced by our culture, our upbringing, the people around us and our personal experiences. Our anger flares when our pride is challenged, and sometimes grudges and deep-seated bitterness get the best of us. We can so easily tear one another down instead of build each other up. I admit this is true of me—there are times anger has gotten the best of me. I haven’t taken down nations, but I have crushed the souls of those I love.

Oh, but there is Good News! We have hope through Jesus. God’s Word is truth and His promises give us confidence that we have been made new. Like Haman, we have the potential to do evil, hurtful things; but in Christ, we can be vessels of God’s mercy and grace. My son said it well one day after we watched a Disney movie: “Mom, there is always good and evil, but good wins.” God wins!

We live in a fallen world where good and evil collide. We read about it in history books, see it on the news that streams 24/7, and we encounter it in our daily lives. It would be so easy to stay paralyzed and hopeless on the couch, hidden under this blanket. God’s promises give us the hope to get up off the couch, get on our knees and pray, to believe God can work through us to spread His gospel of grace and peace to a prideful, hurting world.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- Romans 12:19, 21


SRT-Esther_instagram5

SRT-Sale-Lent_640-2

  • Bessie Thomas

    That passage from psalms and princess proverbs was so timely..as I just came from an argument with my patents about marriage =< praying I have grace to stay humble and not respond angrily toward them

  • stephanie

    Yes! “do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” so powerful and so who Jesus is! The cross is the crux of it all. Thinking about the moment when the greatest evil was overcome with the greatest Love and obedience. Asking to continuously be led to the cross, because from that moment everything changes. The ground shook, the land was dark, the veil was torn and then He rose! we can live today sisters. we can live today!

  • Romans 12:21 is soooo amazing!!! Love love LOVE that verse! It is a beautiful life motto! Praise the lord

  • Jennifer

    This is so relevant for what is happening nowadays.
    The IS attacks in Paris and the anger that comes from that.
    People are feeling threatened with anger and powerless actions as result.

  • thetaylorbag

    Today as I worked from home, my kids playing around me at the same time, I felt so distracted. It took me all day to get through this one lesson and now as I lay in bed I finally got through it. So worth the wait.

  • Caitlyn Mae

    Wow… Amazing

  • Mandy Ollila

    I would be lying if I didn’t say I struggle with anger and pride on a daily basis. I allow others to turn my head or ignite anger in me. Part of my prayer tonight is to keep my eyes on God and listen to Him instead of the outside world.

  • Nicole Vaughn

    Pride, Power, and Anger get in the way of so many great things we could do in our everyday lives. It is my hope that I teach my daughter empathy and understanding of those different than her. I am so glad I serve a God who has given his people to be made new through His son.

  • Amber Joy

    Thank you Lord; that you come to me and correct my attitudes. I give you the situations surrounding me and trust that you will handle them.

  • I’ve been praying God would heal me of my anger and this day has encouraged me that I might be praying for the wrong thing that maybe I should be thanking God for making me new and that his grace and mercy would work in me and through me. God has made me new.

  • I’m late to the party here also, but a year ago I was broken up with and it shattered my heart (it seems like a trivial matter now that I’m expressing this). But I allowed anger and malice to consume my thoughts and ended up saying very hurtful and irrational things to the boy who broke my heart. I’ve never forgiven him for the things he did (working on that), but I can’t believe how hurtful I was. I didn’t display the grace of Jesus at all.

    • Hhughes489

      But the beautiful thing is we serve a God of grace! I struggled with a really bad break up myself. I was hurt and angry and the ugly but I gave it to God and he turned my sin into beauty. Now I would not trade that experience for anything- it has turned me into a better person, I have learned priceless lessons and I am grateful. It is very true that God uses all for his good! So be encouraged dear sister in Christ! He is working in your heart and will turn this heartbreak into songs of praise! Just cling tight to His Promises!!

  • This was absolutely amazing ! My parents are actually both from Rwanda and our (tribe) Tutsi was the targeted tribe in the genocide who were killed by Hutu militants. Even though I was not born or raised in rwanda I carried a disgust and hate towards Hutus ! But once I became saved I felt The Lord deal with me in terms of that and he made me realize at the end of the day no matter what we do We are His ! Nothing can separate us from Gods love and thats why Christ died 2000 yrs ago for that hate to be expelled . Thank you Jesus for your unconditional love and teach me to love others each and every single day just as how you have loved me ❤️

  • I'm a little late to this party and I'm sure no one will read this but this came at the perfect time for me. Not just for me heart but for my daughter. She been having a problem controlling her anger and frustration. I told her we would find some bible verses about it and then this is what I read today. Thank you. She also happened to wake up early so we chatted about it. On further reading I also want to talk with her about pride. Thanks so much for this study. I am learning a lot and glad that I started it.

    • Graceabella

      Very encouraged by your story! May God and His truth continue to speak to you and your daughter.

  • Gods precious Gift❤️

    Wow I truly needed this today. I’m convicted by the Holy Spirit, knowing I’m still holding tight to past pain . I truly need Gods grace and mercy everyday. Forgiving is a daily if not hourly process. I’m tired of punishing those that love me the most and I love the most for the pain others have caused me. Peace is a daily affirmation we must hold on to tightly. Thank you God for the cross. I have no excuses to hanging on, I leave it all at the cross today , tomorrow and everyday to follow.

  • Tricia Baptiste

    I needed to read this. A lot of questions answered! How good is it to feel you can stand with God instead of acting with anger!

  • Thais is good I can honestly say that I feel like anger has been inside of me but God is powerful and good and can take it out of me I just have to ask him because he is a gentleman he won’t do anything I don’t want :) Sooo good thanks for the reminders

  • Oglatha McLaughlin

    although I’m catching up..I needed to read this and understand it for myself as Well as eat it..

  • “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good”. There have been some acquaintances in my life right now that have been tearing me down and all I want is to make a moment of their lives miserable as they’ve made a couple years of mine horrid. I need to remember that revenge is the lords, not my duty. It is so hard to not let bitterness overcome me and to love these girls as Jesus loves them. But it is SOOO hard. After reading today, I’m really going to make an effort to pray individually for each one of them and to thank god for putting them in my life, cause they’re here for some reason I guess haha!

    • Palmira

      As I read this I remember what I have set in my heart many years ago…”I need to forgive others as I would want the Lord to forgive me.”
      In 1992 my brother was killed by a drunk driver and died instantly on impact. He took his last ride on his motorcycle that Sunday.
      Sad to say the man that killed him we all knew.
      Well, we went to court and I they sentenced this man to 5 years and maybe just 2 years for good behavior. Well, I said to my family, if that is his sentenced then so be it. That mans family laughed in the courtroom and said, “well at least we will visit our father in jail, but you all have to go to the cemetery to visit your family member!”

  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by doing good. What a profound verse of scripture that we so often miss! If we could all live by this one verse alone, the world would be changed!

  • Chocolate Ganache

    Mordecai faced a similar circumstance to the one that Daniel faced (and remember God delivered him from the mouths of lions). In our 21st century world, we're not (yet) instructed to bow before a man or statue and worship. But we are told every day to "get over it," and let God's law be compromised without raising an objection andnot to be so narrow-minded as to quote scripture regarding a moral issue. I pray God will give me the boldness and courage of these two Bible heroes.

    • Dori

      … and the firely furnce — even if it meant their death, they would still give God glory. And Job — I KNOW my Redeemer lives.

  • Antimony

    “If we allow anger and our grudges to fester, if we make plans for revenge, we will quite likely end up doing horrible things to others and ourselves.” Plans for revenge, grudges, and bitterness never hurt others as much as they hurt us. It’s like being slowly poisoned. Have to forgive, and consciously move beyond it. Hard sometimes! Very hard. But it’s the only way

  • Ashley S.

    Good always wins no matter how long it takes! People think getting revenge on people is the ultimate win but in the end God has control and we never know what’ll happen! By forgiving others and ourselves we make way for God to live within our hearts!

  • Kasey Tuggle

    Wow. This speaks so much truth into my life. We can’t show enough grace. Show love instead of what you think someone deserves because you were shown love and not what you deserve. Not always easy until reminded of just how much u have been forgiven! Being forgiven by Christ frees us and forgiving others frees us as well! FREEDOM. Released (set free) to live for God (living to love God & others)!!

  • veritas1201

    I understand the context for our revenge debate, and I agree that I tend to exhibit more in the style of remembering and harbor bitterness. However, I feel like there is a huge question that I haven't seen anyone else point out. Just a couple days ago we saw huge praise for Esther because she obeyed Mordecai in hiding her heritage (Esther 2:10 & 20). Here we see Mordecai disobeying a king's edict. Why are we okay with his disobedience and Esther's obedience? Where is the difference? While the law seems ridiculous, and we all know the type of man Haman was, what about Romans 13:1-7?
    It just seems like a double standard to me.

    • Dori

      I can see the confusion to you. I think the line is drawn when it puts someone/some thing before God. Haman wanted to be worshipped. He obviously knew that Mordecai was a Jew because it was after his refusal that Haman wanted to destroy all the Jews. That is our line in the sand. There is no one before God — not even ourselves. And there are so many stories in the Bible of people willing to face death, rather than deny God.

  • Smawllie

    This is just an awesome reminder that God (and doing good) wins at the end of the day! Haman may have plotted evil to gratify himself and 'save face' after his 'subordinate' refused to show him respect. We fall into this trap every once-in-awhile when we are hurt by people we love, our colleagues, not-so-friendly bosses or better still, people who we may have helped at some point in our lives. I believe today's study is calling us to reach out beyond our feelings – hurt, anger, pride, and lean on Him inspite of how we feel. He heals!

  • Mashell Baker

    Reading this today has help me in so many different ways. I fall, struggle and battle at times, but by the grace of God, he picks me up and points me to more grace and mercy. What an amazing God we serve to always be there in the good and bad times, never leaving or forsaking me. I am so thankful for the Word you ladies preach, the words and passion you share. I pray that God places a hedge of protection around you all, and give you the passion and the gift to continue reaching out to so so many women! Thank you and Praise be to God!!! Blessings:)

  • Great study & such a wonderful reminder that God will always win over evil! Reminded me of a conversation I had with a doctor when I was a new nurse at a trauma hospital and overwhelmed with difficult situations where horrible things happened to good people. And he told me no matter what happens in this life, where evil seems to triumph at times, that in next life there will be true justice! What a great encouragement to hear! Hope this encourages someone as well. It’s great to be in this community with all you wonderful ladies! :)

  • Whoa pride! I am one prideful person and when I feel disrespected it’s like challenge mode for me. And it boils inside…BUT GOD!! I have noticed a change in how I respond to those in authority over me in submission and those under me by responding with humility…still shedding off myself in this area, but it’s a huge challenge. Pray for me!

  • I encountered evil at a young age and it is still a difficult subject for me, as I don’t understand it and probably never will. I thank God that He has given me the grace to believe in His goodness. This life is a battle and I struggle with these things almost daily but I know my future and my story is secure in His hands and I pray that I hold on to that truth until I see Him face to face.

  • I am so glad that the devotion related our hate that is "learned", back to our sinful nature. Oh, but how much our sin not only hurts others, but more importantly how it grieves God. I don't think today's mainstream Christian believers (me included) truly understand how much sin separates us from God. My pride has gotten the best of me over the last several months because I felt like my toes were being stepped on by my mom regarding my parenting decisions with my son. My husband and I both felt it, but my pride continued to deepen the anger and frustration to where there was tension in the relationship. My mom absolutely adores and loves my son (and us, too), but it was becoming an issue with me to the point that I started to easily argue and get frustrated at things that didn't even involve my son. God has been working in my heart over the last month or so, allowing me to seek wisdom from other believers, but I love how the Holy Spirit continues to bring things to our attention and help us see His grace and the grace that we can show others. I know I need to talk with my mom and express my feelings, but at the same time apologize for my pride and how that has affected the situation even more. Today was much needed. Thank you!

  • Bethpchuck

    Often if I struggle with anger or resentment, it is born out of feeling overlooked or disenfranchised, and it is sometimes hard to see others receive recognition or blessing, especially when I feel like I deserve it more than them (oh the pride that festers from wounds and not trusting our father to perfectly take care of us!). I love this prayer to help realign my heart:

    O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
    To be consoled as to console;
    To be understood as to understand;
    To be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

    (Often attributed to st Francis or Augustine, though no one really knows :))

    May we all experience this sweet, life giving freedom!

  • Verses 7-8 caught my attention. “In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of the King Ashasuerus they cast Pur before Haman day after day;and they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.” “Then Haman said to the King Ashasuerus….”

    So, Haman’s fury was so deep that he planned the destruction of the Jewish people for an entire year?! It’s an amazing thing to think about. How often am I Haman? Letting hurt feelings, bitterness, or mental attacks run through my mind. Thank you Lord for grace and mercy.

    • Jamie G

      Bianca,

      The time frame peaked my interest as well! However, I looked at it by counting the months in which God had to use Esther for His glory. It provided a gentle reminder that God is an on time God. When we pray, we must continue to hold fast to his promises and patiently wait.

      I’m sure Esther had no idea she would step into the kingdom for such a time as this where her very own people would be the ones targeted. Having an idea of what happens in this story, how befitting is it to know that Esther will overcome Haman’s adamant hate? And thanks to Proverbs 29:22, we know that Esther wouldn’t be able to battle this attack by adding her very own fury to the mix.

  • Kendall_S

    Father,

    my pride and anger bring me low

    help my heart to be lowly in spirit

    so that i can bring you honor

    amen

  • Sarah Jane

    Sisters, some times it’s sooooo hard to be good and live in humility. Some days it feels like being on a diet and wanting to eat a bag of chips!! So glad God understands we’re imperfect and loves us and encourages us anyway.

  • Lisa Montgomery

    Great article Debbie Eaton and you are hilarious Tina! We’ve ALL been there but also great insight. Very much enjoying this study.

  • Rosemary Sanchez

    Today’s study was amazing!!!

  • Christina D.

    It is so so humbling to admit but I have struggled with anger. I know my words can pierce to heart when I am angry and I can be so hurtful. Though most people would never guess, those who know me deepest have experienced my temper (my husband, parents, and sister). But since having a baby (7 months) I am so terribly afraid that she will learn this from me. I NEED God to help me release my anger when I feel my temper flare up. I was frustrated with a friend the other day and loudly venting to my husband when I realized even though she is so so small, my harsh words were falling on delicate and precious ears. Sorry this isn’t directly related to Esther but that anger part just really stood out to me today. Lord, please allow me to realize faster when my temper is getting the better of me. Impart to me your patience and grace in place of my anger.

    • Morgan

      The Lord is mighty and healing. He will continue His work in you in His timing and that timing is perfect! Continue to press forward, He knows your heart and your child’s heart and that is so beautiful and I hope it encourages you to know that truth. You and your family are in my prayers! I’m only in college and very very young in my faith but often think about this for the future if I’m blessed with children. But The Lord provides and has provided us with a community of believers and it’s an incredible thing to hear from others and learn from other and pray with/for others so thank you so much for sharing!

      • Christina D.

        Thank you for the prayers Morgan! I have been a Christian for almost my entire life and am in my thirties BUT the Lord is still using you to teach me and minister to my heart. Thank you for your encouragement.

    • Crystal

      Christina D.,
      What you say is related to today’s reading of Esther. We notice how Haman felt angry, revengeful when someone chose to do something that made him feel wronged. What I’ve been learning is that life is all about choices. I can’t expect God to make me act a certain way because He won’t. I choose how to act. Being a believer and daughter in Christ then I should choose to act how God would act. So today’s scripture is a great example of choosing to act in the flesh(Haman) or God’s way(Mordecai).

      It’s natural to feel angry. This may not be true for you, but for me there was some time that things would happen and I’d feel so angry and bothered. I realized that I was still holding onto hurts from the past and it was affecting me. I was still hurting inside and so for most things that didn’t go my way I’d feel really angry. I had always thought it was the other persons fault as to why I felt angry. (How could they do this? How could they ask me to do this? Don’t they know all that I’m going thru.) I prayed about it and finally accepted the truth that God has a better plan and I can’t choose how people will act or what they’ll say but I can choose how I respond. I pray to God for a compassionate and forgiving heart.

      What’s so beautiful to see is when you find yourself in a situation and you’re beginning to feel angry, but you show grace and mercy instead because that is God working in you.

      • Christina D.

        Thank you Crystal. I agree with what you said about it totally being a choice. And what a wonderful reminder of how beautiful it is when God’s grace and mercy replace our anger. That is something I will be thinking about. Thank you!

      • Christina D.

        And thank you for relating my struggle directly to the difference in choice of how to deal with my anger (between Haman and Mordecai). That was a great illustration to me!

        • Crystal

          You are most definitely welcome. We are all learning and I’m glad I can share what I’m learning.

  • Mackenzie Marie

    Oh my, this has made me realize how easy it is for me to become bitter. To hurt others with my words and actions because of my bitterness. Because of my pride. Forgive me Father, humble me. I pray your love and kindness would overflow in the hearts of us all. Vengeance is not ours for the taking, Lord you will fight for us if we could just be still. Help me to be still Lord. I am thankful for these beautiful women, continuing to do whatever it takes to know you Lord. You are sovereign!

  • "It is humbling to consider how easily we are swayed to regard others as less than ourselves."

    "Being a rule follower is a good thing — until it goes hand in hand with being judgemental on those not following the rules."

    I'm guilty of giving a LESS than ZERO grade to those rule breakers. Prideful to the max. Oh Lord, heal me from this sin once and for all. -Amen

  • Shannon Tyson

    Man, and here I was so pridefully thinking… “Well I don’t plan revenge or struggle with being outraged usually so today really isn’t that applicable to me..” I’m so humbled by and thankful for all of your comments. It was like God reaching down from heaven and pouring truth into my prideful heart. Oh how I harbor bitterness and expect to be catered to. So often these are my deepest struggles lately! Lord, forgive and humble me and thank you for these beautiful women!

  • What's that old saying "He that angers you controls you!"? I truly don't want to be controlled by anyone but my Abba Father…but being human I slip and slide backwards all the time. So thankful that God has given us a conscience and the Holy Spirit to "wake" us up to our destructive ways and patterns and that we can ask Him for forgiveness and guidance…it's ours for the taking…help us Father to learn to ask!
    I love all of you SRT ladies and your openness!

  • I'm enjoying this study of Esther. I get a new blessing each day

    • SheReadsTruth

      We love having you in our community, Glenda!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Thankful for Mordecai’s testimony this morning!

  • Just joining in on SRT today. I am studying the book of Esther with a group of young adult women in my home so this is a God gift for me. Added material, not only for study but for my heart.
    Anger is such a powerful thing-so much energy is wasted being angry at people when we could be ministering instead. The book of Esther is teaching me things I never expected. God is so good!!

  • Candacejo

    "I haven’t taken down nations, but I have crushed the souls of those I love." This. This hurt. God, I know I am guilty. As the song says, "Why do we hurt the ones we love?"

    Because we can.

    What a powerful post this morning as I reflect on HIS mercy toward me may I not forget I am to reciprocate and lavish that mercy on others.

    In Jesus' name, be blessed dear sisters. ♥

    • Whitney

      That same section hit me hardest. I was praying just yesterday about this exact thing because I know I haven’t been the nicest person this past week. I could cite a hundred reasons why and give excuses all day, but it really doesn’t matter WHY I am hurting others, it only matters that I am. Lord, help me/us to love in a way that reflects you to the world!

  • I am not one to get super angry or to hold grudges, but I have made some stupid stupid decisions out of pride. I've purchased things on credit knowing I didn't have the money to immediately pay it back but thinking I deserved whatever I was buying. I've refused to do things when I've felt they're beneath me. I've gossiped about others to make myself look good. I hate looking back on those times when pride got the best of me. And truth be told, it still happens sometimes. Coincidentally, we have Psalm 37:7 written on a chalkboard in our dining room– it's my reminder to just wait for the Lord's goodness. Because when I try to seek goodness out on my own, when I try to go solo after the things I feel I deserve because I'm so darn proud, someone, usually me, gets hurt.

    God is good. God and His good will win. Every time. We need only be still (even when it's hard to be still). I'm sure it was really hard for Esther and Mordecai to watch Haman command people and treat people the way that he did. But they were still. And when the time was right ("for such a time as this"), God used Esther for good…to save a race of people. Surely He will also bring good to our lives.

  • This was so well written! Convicting, but still full of hope. I've been repeating Exodus 14:14 to myself a lot the past couple weeks, and Psalm 37:7-9 repeats the same theme. My "vengeance" is not pre-planned, but it shows up often and where I least expect it. We live in another country, and there are many times cultural differences can cause this kind of reaction in me. For example, waiting in line to use the bathroom. People will cut in line all the time, so I learned I have to fight to keep my place. Somewhere along the road though I've gotten tired of having to fight for something that is my "right". My reactions to others cutting have become harsher than necessary. And this come across in other areas too. I've gotten so tired of fighting for myself, and that comes across clearly to anyone who pushes me to do so. He reminded me a couple weeks ago that I just need to be still and let him do the fighting. Today's reading was another reminder of this for me. I don't have to carry the burden of fighting for myself. He does that for me now, will keep doing it for me in the future, and even better, has already done it in the past and won! He's won our biggest battle and I can rest in that! Thank you for your words today and the scriptures you pointed out… Just what I needed to hear :)

  • Sarah Weatherford

    Wow this is so good – so applicable! Lord, help me be a vessel of mercy and grace at work. We spend so much of our lives at our jobs. There are countless opportunities to let pride or grace rule. I need this today!

  • We have another example of a king who does not stop to think about the results of his rash actions. Without careful consideration of the results of his actions giving Mordecai his complete authority, he once again issues a decree that he will regret. How often do I react before looking at the whole picture? How often do I allow the actions of those around me influence my thoughts or decisions without first going to God? I have found myself in the last few months withdrawing from people around me. As I dig deeper into God's Word, I am being convicted of how I am allowing the actions of others to influence my actions. My tongue is my worst enemy, and I am justifying my withdrawal by thinking if I don't hear the negative words from their mouths, I will keep my own mouth in tact. I have even asked to of my closer friends at work to call me on "my tongue" when it gets out of control. I pray that God will give me the wisdom to think before I speak, treat others as He would, allow Him to take revenge on those who hurt me, and above all be obedient to His calling.
    Have a blessed day sisters.

  • KC Blessed

    Wow. Today’s verses have made me think back on some not so nice thoughts of “revenge”. I have been in situations where I felt disrespected and made the decision that I didn’t have to tolerate that person or even been upset with myself because I didn’t repay them with an action worthy of their crime of disrespecting me (I thank God that He kept me from a starring role on the tv show Snapped).
    The more I develop my relationship with God the more I see how sweet it is for me to accept His peace in situations and not seek revenge or hope that someone spontaneously combusts so I never have to deal with, see, or hear of them again… Sin can surely take your mind to weird places.
    The problem of putting yourself and your pride on a pedestal always leaves the opportunity for the pedestal to get knocked over, then where are you & the pride?
    Lord, I pray that I, as your daughter, won’t act like Haman and let what is perceived as disrespect cause me to plot against others. You are almighty and have situations worked out on my behalf. So, may I choose to seek peace and extend grace to others as you continually extend it to me. Amen
    Blessings your way, Ladies!

    • Brandi

      Amen! "You are mighty and have situations worked out on my behalf. So, may I choose to seek peace and extend grace to others as You continually extend it to me. Amen"

    • Surrender&trust

      KCblessed, preach it sister, Amen!!!

  • I had a pastor who frequently referred to the quote that "bitterness was like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die" (not sure who first said it). But that has always really stuck with me. It can be so easy to allow little seeds of bitterness to remain in our hearts and fester. I have never actively sought out vengeance, but oh have I thought it. It's so easy to read these passages and think of how evil Haman was. The truth of it is we all have the capacity to become like him. I'm so thankful that we have a just, good God, that we can trust with all our hurts and pains. That can clear out the bitterness in our hearts as we lay our burdens at His feet. Lord, please help us to daily give these things over to You.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      oh my word! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that quote! Soooo true!

    • Ams

      I heard a pastor say that once. He is from the Central African Republic, and he works with a missions organization that had schools and orphanages in various African countries. When he shared it he said it was said to him by a Rwandan pastor who survived the genocide but whose town was wiped out. They were talking about how that Rwandan pastor and his congregation (and Christians in Rwanda) were working toward reconciliation and restoration in their country. I don’t know if that Rwandan pastor coined the phrase, but that was the context in which I heard it the first time. Powerful!

    • Angela

      I think it was Nelson Mandela who said it.

  • Wow… it'd been a while since I read the book of Esther. Politics, lying and deceit! I'd forgotten the similarities… I get to thinking things are so much worse now than they were way back when, but the main difference I think is sheer VOLUME. With the increase in population comes an increase in evil… or numbers of people who have given themselves over to the sin of corruption. I can't even imagine what behind the scenes manipulations our leaders fall victim to today! How many "Hamans" are manipulating the scene today? How many are in positions of leadership? This morning I pray for our country. Our leaders. That God's presence would overcome evil with good… That God would place his people in places for such a time THIS time in His Story.

  • I have sought vengeance in my head – and bitterness comes WAY too often. Did I ever need this reminder of how similar I can be to Haman. Wow.

  • This passage is interesting, Haman's reaction to Mordecai.
    "What have you been taught about power and pride, and how have others influenced your actions? It is humbling to consider how easily we are swayed to regard others as less than ourselves"
    How do we as Christians react to persons who may not respect or give us the credit when we think or feel or even if we genuinely deserve it? Do we become like Haman or do we leave it to Almighty God?
    Great food for thought..

  • The Message has verse 3:5 written this way …. "When Haman saw for himself that Mordecai didn’t bow down and kneel before him, he was outraged." How many times do we hear that word used to described feelings these days – Outraged? If I am on twitter, facebook or watch/read the news daily, I am certain I would see or hear the word frequently. We are such an offended society and our offenses have turned into outrage because we believe, rather we *feel* there should be different treatment. Now I'm not referring to the violence overseas or in our own countries, I'm speaking to the small moments we see a spark of outrage being developed from an irritant. Moments we feel we deserve different treatment, pride filled moments. We think being offended is a right. What if we were un-offendable? What if we shook things off more and put it before God instead of on each other. How different would this world look?

    One such moment just sticks in my brain – – At a local gas station picking up a bag of ice I overheard conversation about a woman in front of me between two strangers behind me. The woman had 5 small children with her and she waited patiently for each child to come to the register, responsible for their own choice of sweet. In no time, I could hear the noises of frustrations eek from those to my back and in a very, very short time, the noises became bold words mubbled. I could hear an exchange between these two strangers … they quietly commented to one another ridiculous things based on what they perceived the situation and the woman and children's color. It was as if she had committed a serious crime against them. The hate that seeped hurt to hear and I was seething inside. I realized instantly these were prideful men who had little regard for people and while I wanted so badly to rebuke them, and in other circumstances I have, these men were not going to receive from me, so I looked them in the eyes, turned my head and pressed my face forward. Their words, attitude and body languange were ones I knew not to involve myself in, especially as a woman. As I watched the woman leave just before I did, I was thankful she did not hear what was happening. She truly seemed oblivious and I was grateful for that. This situation stuck with me because it was an experience that I could *feel* someone seethe with racism, anger and pride. All things Haman felt. We see this every day, in many ways and throughout the history books.

    We can't fool ourselves that this doesn't still happen. We can pray that God's people move forward to end it. We can pray that we have the strength to speak when necessary and that God provide the words, the circumstances and the people to help. That He open the eyes of those who feel offended, of those who seek to offend. That He open our eyes to the little moments that we find ourselves outraged or offended. That He reveal to us our pride and those pangs that point to the enemy and not God. We are a fallen, broken people and we need our Savior….each one of us. He is not more mine than the woman at that counter or the men behind me. He is for each one. Prayerful that God reveal my lackings and bitterness. Prayerful that I see Jesus as I move in this world and that those around me see Him in me. ~ B

    • MNmomma (heather)

      AMEN!!!!

      You hit the nail on the head with saying we live in an offended society. Racism and hatred are everywhere… People jump to anger and malice immediately. Retaliation, hurtful words, slander…..it is unreal. I see it daily in my work. It breaks my heart. I pray that the Lord uses me each day as I work with the kiddos (and their families!) and even my co-workers….that I be a vessel of love, grace and mercy….

      • Onfaith

        It takes a special woman to work in an atmosphere that has you seeing this daily. I'd be concerned it would get the best of me most days. I'm so thankful though that these families and kids have something that can share the light and love of Christ with them. ~ B

    • Brandi

      "What if we were in-offendable? . . .How different would this world look?" This made me think of my 13 yr old daughter. She has such a sweet, generous, calm spirit. There have been several instances this school year of middle school drama, lol, in which another little girl would txt hateful comments to her. My daughter's response is always "Ok

      • Candacejo

        Bless your daughter's little heart!! That brought a smile to my face this morning, no matter how they meant it she isn't going to let it come across that way…or at least she is going to turn it around for GOOD. Praying God's abundant blessings on her today!! ♥

      • Onfaith

        What a smart girlie you have there. I hope that she will keep that smile as she continues to grow into those teens years. She'll do so well and be inspiritng to other young girls if she can stay as simply focused. I love how we learn so much from our kids. Some days they teach me far more than I have taught them. :) ~ B

    • CarleeE

      Amen Amen Amen.

  • Kelly_Smith

    I am not prone to great gestures of vengeance. My sin is more of the "grudges and deep-seated bitterness" variety. Especially in my marriage. I tend to play the martyr and then burn with bitterness because I have been overlooked. I spent years trapped under a heap of bitterness, failing to humbly communicate my needs and my hurts. I attacked, not through annihilation, but small jabs and punches at my husband's character and (in my opinion) poor choices. I communicated disrespect and demonstrated that disrespect in front of my children. This quiet, hidden vengeance can be as destructive as the law sealed with the king's ring. God was gracious to shatter my pride and allow healing in my marriage. Otherwise, I fear the fate of my marriage vows could have matched Haman's–hanging from high gallows.

    • Onfaith

      "The quiet, hidden vengeance can be as destructive as the law sealed….." Speaking truth sister. Love your words and humility in this. I can absolutely agree that the seed of bitterness here is an area often used in our marriages to sour God's work. Very thankful for healing in your marriage, that we have a God who cares enough to humble us all and show us where we need correction and leads us to rightness. Thanks for sharing! ~ B

    • Dana at Happy Little Lovelies

      ooh, Kelly. You’re touching on something I really struggle with too. My husband and kids bear the brunt of my hurt and bitterness. Right now, my excuse is… I’m pregnant with our fourth! They are hard right now! I’m sooo tired! I’m doing so much around here! They don’t think for me!

      And then I hear Haman… He won’t bow down to me! They won’t worship me!

      I’m crazy thankful that I don’t stand condemned. The Spirit lives in me. The Father will finish the work He’s started in me so no, I’m not Haman. But wow… there are definitely trends in what pride does to us and how we are prone to lash out.

      Super convicted this morning.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Isn't that the truth?! I know I had harbored resentment for "little things" over the years and they burned deep inside (i.e. his time with the guys: softball, bowling, cards, hunting, etc……meanwhile I was always 'just home with the kids'……totally not my hubby's doing, just me being mopey…once I developed a sense of self and asked for his support in my pursuing "extracurriculars" things changed – he loved seeing me engage in activities – I was happy. He was happy) …..it wasn't until, with God's grace and mercy, I released them that I was able to truly be free and love and grow with my hubby. Now I look forward to my quiet Wednesday nights (his bowling nights) – just me and the boys…what a change from 5-6 years ago!!!

    • Brandi

      Speaking right from my heart today dear sister, from my experience! I'm so thankful that He is always at work! I'm still a work in progress and so is my marriage, but your comment was just what I needed this morning! Thank you!

    • mehglazenby

      Kelly…this is where I struggle most. Thank you for opening up and sharing. I tend to be hurtful with my words, and can be so selfish. Satan has used the fact that I work more than my husband (extremely type A and busy minded)….as a way for sin to creep into my marriage and look for ways for me to feel slighted. Just last night I found myself upset that I was up at 3:30 with my 6 month old…while he slept. Praying for a renewed spirit, for forgiveness, and for my pride.

    • JulieAnn

      Amen! And…ouch. I am guilty. Guilty, guilty, guilty! I recently gave up my teaching career to be a better mama (3 boys 17, 15 & 12- my “baby” is MR with autism) and wife- however, I find myself as resentful and bitter- feeling a lack of respect from my husband and two oldest in regards to the sacrifices I have made/am making. I, too, have used my words hurtfully and with intent. Who am I to feel such entitlement?! Yikes… time for prayerful reflection today. Thankful for this study and thankful to have taken the time to read the comments today. ♡

    • MGW

      I loved your honesty here. I'm in a marriage that is struggling, mainly due to me and my lack of interest in my husband. I don't respect him and have grown to resent the fact that for 5 years he's not worked full time while I have. It's discouraging as I love for him to provide and lead, but he doesn't know how. I need to respect even through this. Your post was a reminder for me to continually look to God for help in this area, and for Him to soften my heart. Thank you.

    • Kimi

      Oh Kelly. Thank you for sharing this insight. It is not something I would have thought of, in regard to this topic, but it is something I struggle with constantly. I am so glad it has been brought to my attention. My hubby tends to have lots to do with work and guys to hang with sometimes from work. As a military wife I haven't made many friends at this duty station because of a bad experience at our last station. And it seems whenever I do go somewhere I feel like a get guilted for doing something for me. So I get upset and bitterness can set it. I need to just let that go. I am entitled to me time and when he says go…I guess I need to listen to the words instead of reading into his attitude. Thank for the reminder to let go….to not let it become "more"

  • Light Seeker

    As I sit here on my couch under a blanket, I feel the warmth of God's love and protection. As I layed in bed last night, my husband who I've been separated from for 3 years, left threatening messages on my phone regarding our divorce that is in process. I refuse to allow the enemy to instill fear in me. This man who is an addict and a controlling manipulator, has serious pride and anger issues and there have been many times when Romans 12:19-21 has helped me get through. Knowing that God knows all I have suffered because of him, and knowing that vengeance belongs to God has helped me to overcome this evil in my life "with God" by doing good. I know The Lord is on my side and will help me out of this marriage safely with His loving protection.
    I do not need to fear or be overcome with evil.
    I am safe in my home, sitting under a warm blanket with my little dog and my Big God right next to me!

    • Onfaith

      God is big! And He will deliver you. Fear can paralyze, but I am grateful that God hasn't given us a spirit of fear. We know where that comes from. I am thankful in reading this that His peace comes through, that He has provided a wisdom in you that allows you freedom in such a season! Prayerful that He continue to provide great peace, that He cover you and you feel His profound presence. Prayerful also that He provides victory for your wayward husband as well. ~ B

    • Brandi

      Praying for you my sister in this season!

    • Candacejo

      My little dog and MY BIG GOD! You are so wrapped up in Jesus, friend. God is near and we are praying for your protection and His intervention in your situation. Blessings to you. ♥

    • Mikki

      Light Seeker, what an amazing testimony of faith and resting in God. Praying for you dear sister in Christ.

    • Taime'

      Light Seeker I amen your post as your sister who has rested under those same blankets while the fury of the enemy swirled around me. God was my defender and strength! God was my strong tower as He is for you and I today he was for me 12 yrs ago and will be in 12 seconds, minutes, years & decades to come! You are lifted up in my prayer today Light Seeker…glory to God!

    • chubbercheekies

      Praise God for His protection of you! Remember, too, that there's nothing lacking in your faith by calling in the authorities to help you and yours stay safe, too. It doesn't mean you trust God any less to seek out help and protection from those God has put in place for our society to help us! If you feel you're in danger or being threatened, I'd encourage you to call the police for some added protection. Bless you, sister.

  • This will make you smile….I read…and this is how blind I am….Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good….as Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with God…there is TRUTH in even that misread sentence don't you think…? Silly me..

    I have done some stupid, silly not so nice things in my life…but vengeance has never…Thank God ..been one of my many to list…I don't say this proudfully, just as, …I could not imagine sitting and plotting/planning to hurt someone because of something they have done to me or mine…I cannot remember instances of not so nice things happening in the past…but in recent years, I can remember, thinking, when my husband left us for this other woman, that I would put her picture all round her town on lamp posts, you know like people do, when they lose their dogs or cats, saying ..beware this woman is a home wrecker…with a picture….I am laughing now….at yet another stupid thing, that this intelligent brain of mine was thinking…trouble is, I can make a scenario out of anything, but to actually put it into practice…uh uh…I think these thoughts were to make me feel as though I was doing something in that awful situation…
    You have to be pretty far out there and ungodly, I think to plan harm or pay back to someone you feel has done you wrong, or in Harmans case, the respect he felt he deserved, whilst holding the position of authority/ power, was not given him, by one whom he already disposed, because of who he was…
    '…Vengeance is mine says the Lord…' I have never thought evil, ( I can't recall doing so..), of anyone…, but if I have Lord, I pray you show me, so that I can repent…., not the man that put me in hospital, twice, with broken ribs, arm, eye so swollen, my face distorted, not the man who tried to burn my home whilst my children and I slept, or the woman who sneakily enticed my husband with pictures whilst we grieved..
    I thank God, that for whatever reason, wrong wiring, right wiring, I have never hated enough to act with vengeance against anyone…and Lord, I pray it may never be so….as I walk with you Lord, and as I learn of your character and your Amazing love and care for us/me, that I may learn to be a vessel of your Grace and Mercy, as you have shown so many more times than I can recount….I thank you so very much Lord God, that I do not have the power, of this world, or want it…pride…we may have to work on…and anger, it's there, of course it is, but thank you Lord God, that in most cases it is controlled enough to walk away, Lord, I pray your work in me continue where that is concerned…praising and thanking you my God for everything…Amen..

    Morning…feeling as though I haven't been here this week….so extra hugs and love and blessings being prayed for you beautiful Sisters out there..xxx

    • Onfaith

      Oh Tina, I laugh, because I too have had those feelings, those thoughts. I can completely remember not so nice thoughts about what it would be like to "post signs" as you mentioned, although my scenario never involved signs……I, too, have never acted out those thoughts and that is only God in me, even in moments when bitterness, resentment and hurt saught to control me. I, too, am beyond thankful that I did not act in vengeance. Your words here;

      "that I may learn to be a vessel of your Grace and Mercy, as you have shown so many more times than I can recount….I thank you so very much Lord God, that I do not have the power, of this world, or want it…pride…we may have to work on…and anger, it's there, of course it is, but thank you Lord God, that in most cases it is controlled enough to walk away"

      Thank you for putting into words so much of how I feel as well. For sharing this prayer….the false power that comes from vengeance, that is fed of this world is something I do not desier either. The arrogance and pride that can be a silent & slow killer to us I hope and pray God reveals those in my life. Tina, I will continue to lift you up and am so very thankful for you in this community. ~ B

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Thank you Tina for your grace filled response…..hugs and prayers with you! ~h

    • Valanne

      Oh Tina I wish my heart could say this, "but vengeance has never…Thank God ..been one of my many to list." I've caught myself (in situations unrelated to me e.g. seeing a speeding driver) saying "oh I wish there was a police car to pull him over." I'm seeing this as vengeance or wishing justice be done for their wrong doing. And then right thoughts come to me (thank you Holy Spirit), thoughts of grace toward this person. But this mindset of wishing evil on the one who is doing wrong has caused me to see that I don't always bask in the grace and mercy that has been given to me. It's like I'm waiting for the punishment that I deserve instead of daily opening the gift that has been given to me. My weaker conscience needs some spiritual strength to be free of these kinds of sinful thoughts. Thanking God that your post caused me to see an area that needs to be turned over to Him.

    • chubbercheekies

      I think we have to be careful not to view "revenge" as only the action; God sees the heart's turning as sin, not just the outward action. So though I've rarely "done" something to exact revenge, I have a heart guilty of longing for revenge and wishing other people something other than God's goodness. That still counts.

    • tina

      Totally agree…it is not just the action…as the bible says …if he has thought it in his heart, He has sinned( paraphrased from Matt:5:28…)
      Thank you chubbercheekies…for your so valid point….bless you…x

    • Megan

      You all are beautiful.

Further Reading...