Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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Tuesday, August 29

I’m Still Standing!

I started this blog because I want to share what I am writing for new believers, but there are few things I want to share first before I start. This blog post is on vengeance.


“I’m still standing better than I ever did,
Looking like a true survivor; feeling like a little kid.
I’m still standing after all this time,
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind.
I’m still standing!”


I watch the cartoon musical Sing the other day, and when Taron Egerton sang this Elton John song, something touched me deep down in my heart. “I’m still standing.”

We all know that vengeance is a good thing when it is a God thing. Our job is to forgive; it is God’s job to act out his perfect love and justice when he sees fit in ways he sees fit.

I think this is one of the most difficult balancing acts in life. Everything inside us cries out for vengeance, for justice, to hurt those people who hurt us. After all, if God is not just, if he does not reward righteousness and punish wickedness, then we have a much bigger problem on our hands, because then he is a liar because he promises to do precisely that: reward righteousness; punish wickedness.

I have often joked with my wife that the best vengeance is to live well. She doesn’t really like it when I say that, but I still think there is some truth to it. If we live in our pain, in our hurt, if we refuse to forgive, then we are only hurting ourselves, allowing those who hurt us more control of our lives than they should. But if we forgive, they lose their power over us and their fate is in the hands of God.

When I heard the song, I realized that after what I have gone through these past nine years ago, that I am still standing. I have forgiven, and then forgiven again, imperfectly at first, as best I could, and then over and over again until I was able to actually mean it. And now I am not just passively removed from it; I am defiantly still standing in the love and grace and forgiveness of God, releasing those who hurt my family and me into the merciful and just hands of God.

They are his concerned now. But I’m still standing!

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Comments

Great article. Foegiveness is one of the hardest things to do. Which always amaze me for how easy Gos forgives me. I actually have a YouTube channel I do ministry on and I just did one on forgiveness! Stay strong in the faith, lean on the Lord, and pray always. Have a blessed day.

Congratulations, Bill. Forgiveness isn't easy, as evidenced by the cross, but for those of us who are still standing, it was the right way to go!

An excellent article. thank you for sharing Love and blessings from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Such good and heartfelt words, Bill. Thank you! We HAVE TO believe in this promise. The only other choice is to live in the pain. This kind of slow forgiveness...the kind that leads into ever greater freedom...has to be the most real answer for the deepest kind of hurt life throws at us. Those deep hurts take time to reach down into—to the place where mind-body-will and emotions truly connect. To mearly make a decision of the will or to take loving action without matching feelings feels like one is dividing one’s soul in a way. Though we may do these things to obey it is only when they all come together that forgiveness feels complete. We should certainly will talk about this morning because it affects us at such deep level. For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants... Deuteronomy 32:36 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. - Ephesians 6:13

Thank you, Dr. Mounce. I have been struggling with my hurts from my past. Seeing the very people who harm you "living well" didn't sit well with me. Your post helped me to realise I am only hurting myself further. I will forgive, move forward, and live well by the grace of God. Many blessings to you.

Aw, Bill. This is such a great reminder. Thank you! And I really appreciate knowing there's a you out there in the world making such an impactful difference with your ministry for the Kingdom! Blessings, Jen Haugland

My first thought is, as one who is still being broken by God (and for which I prayed for), is "Amen". If God wants me home, he'll take me. My next thought was about Paul and his companions. I like how the Weymouth New Testament is phrased: Therefore put on the complete armour of God, so that you may be able to stand your ground on the day of battle, and, having fought to the end, to remain victors on the field. Eph6.13 Truly it is not we who can do it, but only Christ who lives in us. Thanks_ga- ps. I grew up on a farm in NW Oregon, and I was out standing in our field.

Amen brother for a great word. God is amazing. But even more so when we are able to see that it is He that enables us to stand through all that comes our ways. Thank you Jesus for being our solid rock. God bless you brother for everything you do. Thank you for Biblical Training. It has been a great source of knowledge of the Word of God.

I have followed your writings for quite some time; and I am inspired to love God more when I read them. Keep up the good work.

Good Morning Brother Thank you for the encouragement. Blessings in Christ BEN

Dr. Mounce you have been such a great blessing to me through the years. I don't know what you have gone through but do know your influence and how God has used you in my life. Thank you for your transparency it helps me go through the same. We love you as our brother Cindie and Ryan from Smithville tx

Bill, I understand the concept of forgiveness, but how does one loosen up on hyper-vigilance toward those who have wronged them or their family? I retired from the Army three years ago and am having difficulties with not being so hyper-vigilant. I am always prepared in the event that something bad happens in an attempt to prevent it. In Him, Rodney.

Do you mean hyper-vigilant in the sense of waiting to be hurt again? Remember, forgiveness does not mean the reinstatement of the relationship. Some p[eople are not safe.

Thanks for reminding me that sometimes we have to forgive often until it works.

Your post on vengeance and forgiveness is timely and helpful as my husband and I struggle with a huge unjust action done against us. Of course we know that we're to forgive. Of course we've forgiven the person and the actions. Again and again. Sometimes it's so difficult to forgive over and over again. perpetrator continues to do their thing against us.

If I were you, and if it is possible, I would put a safe distance between you and the perpetrator. Nothing wrong with taking steps to be safe.

Thank you for the message. I really appreciate all of it. It's easier to be angry than to feel hurting especially when you found out that your mom died because one of your siblings had her stressed and tired then got sick and eventually die because she is raising money for a Portugal tour. We are all working abroad and when she got sick, we were not able to take care of her. We all arrived after she passed on to the Lord. I never said anything to my brother how I am hurting knowing the truth about mom's death. I want to confront him, but being the younger one, I prefer to be quiet and give it to the Lord. I know my mom is in a better place now, he cannot stress her anymore. The best vengeance I can do to my brother is to pray for him that whatever financial crisis he is in, since God took mom already, then God will take care of him. Giving all the hurt to the Lord is what I will do to keep me standing everyday knowing mom is gone.

My dear friend Bill: I am so proud of you. Thank you for sharing what God has been doing in your life. Thank you, dear God, for answering the prayers of so many of your friends. It is a huge step forward in your spiritual journey.

Dear Dr Mounce, your blog on vengeance has gripped me in my heart and I praise Jesus for your victory over the works of darkness. Your testimony has caused me to sit and revisit my life's journey, from early childhood to adulthood, filled with abuse and with nowhere safe to turn. I likened my life to the Scripture in Ezekiel 16:2-13, when God spoke to Israel. I felt exactly like that, "thrown out into an open field, with no one to care for you!" Only, Jesus came and covered me with his robe and said, "You are mine!" Forgiveness did not come easy to me! I was so angry and bitter and frustrated to see all my life's dreams and ambitions destroyed, that I said to God, "I do not WANT to forgive, I want to see them fall flat on their faces in the mud! But Jesus came and brought a softness into my spirit and today forgiveness is not an option. However, forgiveness cheaply given is not true forgiveness. It has to reach into the deepest, darkest corners of one's being and cause one to surrender to the sovereignty of God. Forgiveness must come from there. May you be strengthened and fortified as you remain standing! My prayers go with you

I have a vengeful drive in me that I have always had to work at to set aside. I have had some people come at me in ministry, told lies about me revealing confidential information, one accused me of stealing the church's money and another said I was controlling and insensitive toward hurting women! They were hurtful situations but God allowed me to not hold it against them and even be wiling to show them love and courtesy. If they remained in the ministry we were able to find forgiveness and healing. [Insensitivity is really a catch word but I always am reminding myself to be sensitive!] Since you were in the BGC (now Converge) MW district as I have been, Idaho I think, I have followed your work and benefited from your teaching. Your vengeance thing was very cryptic and I would have liked to know a little more about it to learn a way of application or coping. Blessings

I had to make it cryptic otherwise what I said might have moved into gossip, and I did not want to do that. It is also cryptic because everyone has gone through these types of difficulties (or will), and I did not want to take away from their pain.

A good reminder, Bill! And thank you. "Vengeance is mine", says the Lord, and so often we feel we need to fight our own battles. Some years ago, I recognised that God is in total control, and his timing is impeccable. There is not one thing that happens in this universe that doesn't first pass through His hand. I have learned to recognise this daily, and in doing so, I'm still standing. I am His child, and nothing can hurt me, because of His loving protection. Sometimes, things that happen appear bad, but 'weeping lasts only the night, and joy comes in the morning.' And so, I'm still standing.