The Abundant Life: Riches money can’t buy…
The abundant life does not repay evil for evil.
We live in an angry world. Frustrations cause people to lash out. They curse, belittle, and hurl insults. Sometimes those toxic tantrums come our way. How should we react?
The Bible clearly instructs us not to return evil for evil. (Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9) If this concept was only mentioned one time, we could pass it off as a misprint or misinterpreted scripture. However, it is stated too many times to ignore. Even the Old Testament which has a more eye for an eye approach says not to mistreat those who mistreat you. (Proverbs 24:29) It also tells us to ignore insults. (Proverbs 12:16)
These are not easy principles to implement. They go against the grain of natural human response. When someone does us wrong, we would all like to have an Uncle Vinny whisper in our ear in a Godfather-type accent, “Hey…don’t worry about it. I can take him out.” He wouldn’t be referring to dinner or the ballgame. But alas, that only works in movies and although there may be immediate gratification, the results are usually disastrous.
Repaying evil for evil hurts both parties. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Perhaps that’s a little cliché, but it’s still true. So what should we do?
The answer is found in Matthew 5:43-45. God tells us to love our enemies, do good to those that hate us, and pray for them. We pray, pray, pray. We turn the whole situation over to God. No need to take matters into our own hands. God can handle it.
We are children of God. He loves us. We can pour out our hurt feelings of being falsely accused, misjudged, misunderstood, misrepresented, belittled, or maligned. He can judge the whole situation and merit out a righteous response. Only God has the power to make every wrong right and the crooked straight. (Luke 3:4-6) Our faith and trust must rely on Him.
Most of us want revenge. We want to see people suffer the way they made us suffer, but that may not be God’s answer to the problem. However, do not think God takes your situation lightly. No deed goes unnoticed by God. He will take care of any retribution needed because He clearly states, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay.” (Romans 12:10)
They say that revenge is sweet. That’s true only when it’s left in God’s hands. Because only He can do what is best for everyone.
Those living the abundant life do not return evil for evil. They know that it’s their job to pray and God’s job to repay.
“…I have come that they may have life and that they
may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10 (KJV)