How do you handle being wronged? Do you retaliate, are you quick to defend yourself, or do you seek revenge? How often do you trust that God will bring true justice?
Today, we are looking at the end of Romans 12 where Paul is instructing the Christians in Rome to never repay evil with more evil. Rather, as Christ’s followers, they (and we) are called to live in peace with everyone. Paul goes on to remind Christians that the Righteous One is the only One who needs to handle revenge. In verse 19, Paul directs our attention back to Deuteronomy 32:35, when we see that through Moses, God reminds His people that only He can use vengeance to make things right.
God has always desired for us to allow His justice to rule over our lives. He has wanted us to trust Him from way back in the Old Testament almost 3.5k years ago through Moses, and again in the New Testament almost 2k years ago through the Apostle Paul. Yet, even with this knowledge, how quick are you and I to retaliate, to defend ourselves, or to seek revenge, instead of turning to God and seeking His justice? God not only wants to care for us in all circumstances, He also calls us to an even higher standard, as He wants us to care for our enemies. He wants them to experience His love through us. So, you and I are not to let evil conquer us, we are called, by Almighty God, to conquer evil by the Love of His Son, Jesus Christ!
Romans 12:17-21 (NLT)
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”[a]
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”[b]
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your justice. Although I may not always understand Your ways or Your timing, I do trust You. So, please help me to love my enemies, help me to allow You to defend my life through Your justice. Slow me down when I am wronged, so that I can allow You to do what needs to be done, rather than trying to do it in my own strength. I ask all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant