Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves: but give place unto wrath, for it is written, vengeance belongs to me, I will repay, says the Lord." (Romans 12:20). The desire to get even has no place in the life of the believer. Christ gave the example; His followers are to forgive even as He forgave them (Colossians 3:13). There are those who will treat a Christian unkindly and often with purpose, and to retaliate is a natural response. But to turn the other cheek, to go the second mile, is Christlike. This kind of living can only be done through the filling and power of the Holy Spirit. The believer is to do his best to live at peace with all men and avoid giving offense to any. Rather than avenge himself of unjust attacks, he is to return good for evil. Any thought of taking revenge must be banished from the mind. Opposition, persecution, and hatred are to be repaid positively with good. Scripture makes it clear that revenge belongs to God, and to Him alone. God's way a avenging is infinitely better for all concerned and brings glory to Himself. As Christians we need to realize we live in a moral universe that is under the authority of God. We must not play God by seeking revenge for personal affronts. God has His way of dealing with offenders either through governmental authority (13:4) or in the final judgment. When we avoid avenging ourselves and return good for evil, we give God an opportunity to work. When we take revenge into our own hands we are apt to find that at the last it produces bitter fruit. When God avenges wrong it is not done with a retaliation which is so representative of human scheming. God avenges wrong with perfect equity and justice. For the Christian this is called Kingdom living. When it come to vengeance, remember He is God and you are not. Dr. Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.