Have you ever been so angry with someone about something that on the inside you feel like you will burst if you don’t give them a piece of your mind? Have you ever wanted to give someone the cold shoulder because they stabbed you in the back, treated you unfairly, slandered your name, or turned their back on you after all you’ve done for them? Chances are you may have felt this way, and I certainly have too. Lately I have been thinking a lot about this verse:
Romans 12:18-21 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Justice is often the cry of my heart. When someone wrongs me my selfishness wants to dish it right back to them. But, God calls us to a higher standard. In the verses above God clearly says don’t seek out revenge; don't retaliate. In my heart that translates to don’t be mean, don’t think up entire conversations of what I really want to say, and don’t wish that things would turn out badly for the person who has wronged me. In Matthew 5: 44 Jesus even tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Pray for them, love them, be kind and hospitable to them. Now I know where my Grandma gets the saying ‘kill ‘em with kindness’. This is so hard, but it helps to remember that doing this doesn’t mean we are making little of the offense or letting ourselves be walked all over; rather, it shows a choice to forgive the person, in spite of how we have been treated by them.
I am thankful for the peace in knowing that the Lord is just …he will settle the scores in His own way and in His own time.
Just thinking out loud and reminding myself of the wisdom found in these verses, and the challenge they present to be a peacemaker.