Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 24
Verse 29: Do not say, "I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work."
Of all the things we've learned walking with the Lord, today's "gold nugget" is a lesson that even the most seasoned Christians seem to have to learn again and again. I have seen older Christians seek an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. When someone does us wrong; they're going to pay for it! As Christians, we know better than to wish or inflict harm on the innocent, but to those that have it coming - well, we have a different perspective on them. We want justice; even if we have to make sure it happens. This lesson seems to get shelved in light of so-called "meatier" Christian principles. In reality, taking our own vengeance is as immoral as anything we might do. Having vengeance in your heart will cause spiritual decay. Consider the instructions given earlier in this chapter; "17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; 18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him."
Not only should we avoid taking revenge, but we shouldn't rejoice when those who hurt us suffer from their sin. Verse 12b "will He not render to each man according to his deeds?" If God is rendering a man according to his deeds, do not take pleasure in their suffering. As verse 17 says, "He will turn away His wrath from Him". It’s not that we avoid taking pleasure so that God will keep His hand of wrath on our enemies, but we don't want Him to turn away His wrath simply because of the evil He sees in our hearts. When all else fails, remember the simple and well know scripture - "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
Lord, help me to trust you with all of my passions. I don't want to take vengeance against those who have hurt me. I don't want to see them suffer, either. If you see fit to discipline those that hurt me, I will morn for their sin and pray for them. I will not take pleasure in their pain. Amen
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