Don't Go There

Don't Go There

Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that man back for what he did.” Proverbs 24:29

It’s tempting to retaliate for good reasons, but a righteous cause becomes unrighteous when it is pursued in pride. Perhaps you have been disrespected by a dramatic accusation. You have been insulted by an insensitive board member. You have been slurred by a deceptive competitor. You have been misunderstood by an uninformed friend. Payback is the plan of the insecure and immature, but prayer is the posture of the patient.

God gives grace to the undeserving. This is the model for Christians to follow. A grace reaction to humiliation is humility. Grace looks in the face of hurt and hatred and does not hold a grudge. Grace gives grace upon grace. How do you handle mistreatment? What if your daughter, son or spouse is wronged? Grace under fire becomes a glowing light for the Lord. You apply self-control when Christ controls your conscience.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [punishment that fits the offense].’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person [who insults you or violates your rights]; but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other toward him also [simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise]. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also [for the Lord repays the offender]. And whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matthew 5:38-41, Amplified Bible).

What is the Lord to do when we step in and try to fulfill a role that is His prerogative? If we act like the Almighty’s vengeance is too slow, then we need to accelerate our faith. My biggest mistakes are made when I try to take God’s place. Sitting on His throne is never my place; it is there am I to crown Him and bow prostrate in awe and worship. This is when it is wise to take a step back, breathe a sigh of relief and trust Him.

Don’t go to the place of pay back and emotional accusations. Go instead to God for His grace and peace, to receive and to give.

“Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, fill me with grace to forgive as You for Christ’s sake have forgiven me, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Application: Am I fighting in the flesh or living by faith?

Related Readings: Leviticus 19:18; Psalm 119:61; Proverbs 20:22; Romans 12:17-21

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