28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 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.”
Getting back to those who “got” you has become somewhat of a sport. The saying, “I don’t get revenge, I get even,” has become a badge of honor. One man I knew upped his game by saying, “I don’t get even, I get ahead.” Most of the time, getting even or getting ahead is a form of vengeance. For some this is a simple joke played on another, but for the angry at heart, getting even will include a form of meanness or pain.
We once had a boy who was committed to getting even with his parents for their abuse against him. Bobbi asked him one day, “When will you know that they have paid enough?” This question needs to be asked everyone who is set on getting even. When we take out a loan we know how much we need to pay back. But when we begin the payback of revenge, when will we know that the person has paid enough for us to stop our revenge?
The Scripture is clear on this point. Solomon calls us not to make a pay-back to the one who has hurt us, and Paul reminds us to live peaceably with all by never avenging ourselves. Paul then reminds us that true vengeance belongs to God and He will justly repay the wicked for their acts against us. Do you believe this? If you believe this, then you will drop all your efforts of revenge and vengeance against those who have hurt you or those who are hurting you. If you believe that God can do a better job than you at getting even, then you will be free to live at peace in your own heart.
Remember that bitterness is the only poison that while intended for another we drink ourselves. When we are seeking revenge, we are poisoning our own lives and our own souls.
A woman came to church the last two Sundays wearing a hijab. When we asked her about her faith, she said she had professed Christ. Some of us are in contact with her now and I ask you to pray for her to come to a full understanding of following Christ as her only hope. Religious people often add Christ to their current belief, but our Lord will not be shared. Pray for this woman to come to faith in Christ and in Him alone.
We have so very much to be thankful for today. Yes, the world is living in fear of COVID-19 but I know the God who is omnipotent and sovereign over all. Our God has saved us from our sin and will one day call us to His eternal home. As people talk to you about a global epidemic, remind them that the first global epidemic was sin and infected every one from birth. Jesus Christ came as the cure for that virus and God will deliver us from this virus either in life or in death. Either way, we have much to be thankful for.
Have a great day in the Lord,