TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, March 16, 2018:
To exact punishment for a wrong; a vindictive spirit; to inflict pain or harm; an act to retaliate.
Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to revenge: I will repay, says the Lord.”
Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong. But always try to do what is good for each other.
I Thessalonians 5:15.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
It is basic human nature to want to retaliate when someone does us wrong. We excuse it by saying, “I am just doing what they did to me.” This attitude of revenge is not acceptable to God. Every day we have situations that bring out a desire to show some revenge. A fellow worker blames you for something you did not do at work. A friend betrays you. A spouse causes you hurt feelings. For all of these issues and many more your natural reaction is to retaliate even if it is just verbal.
When people try to even the score and get revenge it starts a vicious cycle. One word spoken or one act done to get revenge brings another act of revenge in retaliation and normally it is more severe than the first act. The situation escalates and it becomes a losing proposition.
The scriptures give us much counsel as to how we should act when we feel we need to retaliate because someone has wrongly treated us. Paul tells us to let the Lord be our revenger. He also tells us in Romans to respond in love and not repay evil for evil.
How many times have you desired to give revenge to someone who has hurt you? Jesus commanded us in John 15:13 to love one another as He has loved us. In order to love like Jesus loved we must be able to forgive. Forgiveness is much more than just saying “I forgive you”. It involves attitude and actions. In I Thessalonians 5:15, the apostle Paul advises us to, “Always try to do what is good for each other.”
It is not our role, being a believer in Jesus, to retaliate, to punish, or to seek revenge. It is God’s role. When you react with loving kindness and forgiveness to those who treat you wrong it will leave a lasting impression on them because to respond in this way is unnatural and it is hard to do. When we show people undeserved favor, this is grace. Grace is the exact opposite of revenge.
We should never forget that grace is what Christ did for us. Instead of giving us what we rightly deserved for our sins and evil deeds, He died to pay the penalty of sin for us and to give us a way to ask for forgiveness of our sins. As He forgave us so we are to forgive others.
The next time you have a desire to retaliate, do something good and see what happens.
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Timothy 2:15.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Help me today to respond to wrongs done to me with a spirit of love. Keep me from the desire to return evil for evil and to become more like You. Help me to forgive others just as You forgave me.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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