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Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.

Proverbs 20:22 (NIVUK)


I have a friend who does research and some time ago he did some work to define bad habits that need to STOP to allow a relationship to flourish. Each habit is represented by a letter of the word ‘STOP’.

The first bad habit, represented by the ‘S’  is Scoring Points. When I’m in a disagreement I can feel attacked, like somebody is having a go at me. This can happen within our marriage, the family or at work. It is very tempting for me to then score points … I can behave like a boxer. If you have a go at me I’ll try and dodge and then I’ll have a go at you. Instead I need to try and listen and ask clarifying questions so that I can get to the route of the problem. This needs self control. And if there is an injustice it helps me to remember that I need to forgive, and God will avenge.

Many of us ‘score points’ in one way or another. With some of us it is obvious, others might be more subtle. I heard an amusing (but rather sad) story of one woman who made her husband a cucumber sandwich for his packed lunch because she knew he hated cucumber sandwiches. Ho hum.

How do you ‘score points’?

What do you need to stop doing?

Prayer (together)

Dear Lord, We know that you will deal with every injustice in your own time and that we are to forgive one another. Help me to be self controlled and to stop getting back at my partner when I feel hurt. Instead help me to seek to understand and to forgive for I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen

Prayer (for others)

Dear Lord, We pray for …. and …. help them to seek understanding and be forgiving of one another and to stop ‘striking back’. For we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen

Important note: In no way do we condone physical violence or domestic abuse in any relationship. If you are a victim of physical violence or abusive behaviour then we advise you to report it to the Police.