Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- February 21, 2012
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 (NKJV)
People are not capable of properly paying back those who have hurt or offended them. Pay back is not in the glossary of Jesus followers, because He has already paid the debt for another’s offense. Christians are not determined to get even with evil intent; rather they offer grace and forgiveness. Pay back is God’s pay grade—His justice can be trusted.
Vengeance is the Lord’s because His perspective is perfect. He sees the heart, weighs motives and dishes out discipline, as He sees fit. Because He owns the process of pay back we are wise not to intervene in His plan. If we take matters into our own hands, we may jeopardize the recognition of divine justice needed to draw someone to Christ. In the end—it’s all about all of us—feeling accountable to the Almighty. Justice points to Jesus.
“I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.’” Ezekiel 25:7
Has a business partner lied and stolen from you? Has the rejection and jealousy of a friend led them to gossip about you—even slander your name? A lawsuit may be the conventional wisdom of the world, but the Lord has a higher purpose for your predicament. It is not about you. Your platform of pain is to pronounce the goodness of God and His faithfulness. Leave your mistreatment in your Master’s hands to handle.
Sadly, revenge seeps into healthy relationships and poisons them. It is when you take on responsibilities that are reserved for the Lord that you grow distant from Him and others. But, by faith, you can resist revenge and rest in the grace of God. Pray for and resist punishing proud people full of pain. Cook a meal for a friend who has betrayed you. Surprise the unkind with your joy in the Lord and you may be surprised at their interest in Jesus. Give back good and let God pay back evil. Your soul rests when there is no room for revenge.
“Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.” Romans 12:20-21, The Message
Lord, who in my life needs me to love them by doing something good for them, even though they have insulted me?
Post/Tweet this today: Give back good and let God pay back evil. #revenge #good
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