June 5, 2009

Don’t Pay Back

Written by Boyd Bailey

Don’t Pay Back… “Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.” Proverbs 20:22

There is a lot of wasted energy expended trying to get even with evil acts. You may feel you have the right to attack a wrong, but why behave in the same way you have been violated. The Christian life is not about pay back, but about accepting Christ’s payment for sin on the Cross. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Forgiveness is the first response.

It is hard to not fight back when you have been manipulated or mistreated. Anger rises up in the face of criticism or a conniving spirit. The way you react is a reflection of your heart. Secure children of the Lord do not have to prove their point or win the argument. Your question may be dismissed by a louder and more persuasive voice, but you can stay calm and still seek out the truth. Be patient and your heavenly Father will deliver you.

Waiting on the Lord’s justice frees your mind to not be mired down in mediating revenge. We exhaust ourselves playing mental mind games with those who attempt to marginalize our influence. Instead, let loose of these emotional afflictions and lean on the Lord. You cannot change or control another, but you can calm yourself with Christ’s comfort and grace. Pray for perpetrators of pride to find freedom by faith in the Lord.

Jesus modeled this for us, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). The flesh wants to fight, but the spirit seeks to forgive. Pay back is for Providence, so be patient and take pleasure in Him, acquiesce to His will, as He will make things right in His way and in His timing. What wrong deed against me or my family do I need to release to the Lord? “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

Related Readings: Deuteronomy 32:35; Hosea 12:6; Romans 12:17-19; 1 Peter 3:9

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