a great day to do nothing.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19 KJV
When we are wronged in today’s world, it has become disturbingly commonplace to pick up a phone to call a lawyer, to pick up our fists to retaliate physically, or to pick up a gun or other weapon for the ultimate in revenge.
In days gone by, that are sorely missed in many ways, children used to run through neighborhoods playing in others’ yards and homes, experiencing the thrilling moments – and the not so thrilling moments – of childhood. Accidents invariably happened: Billy ran and slipped, falling through the glass in the storm door cutting his arm; Bobby fell down the stairs next door and broke his arm; Mary took a tumble off the swing-set at her friend’s house and was taken to the hospital to make sure she was OK. None of these things was unusual or earth-shattering. Typical unfortunate accidents that happened. The child is “repaired,” usually mended by the homeowner’s insurance where the accident occurred, and then the kids were right back at it with an admonition to “be careful,” with all concerned knowing it was just a matter of time before the next accident occurred, only this time in their yard or home.
That was then. Now there is far too often a lawsuit filed, claiming negligence and we all know that lawsuits are not limited to accidents involving our children at play. Every time we are wronged, or hurt, usually through our own carelessness, we seek revenge. We want to go beyond what is reasonable to expect – that the cut be stitched or the broken bone be set – and we want “punitive” damages to help teach a lesson to, well, anyone we can file suit against and exact revenge from.
Of course, there are other, more serious “offenses” that spur thoughts of revenge: a man sleeps with his neighbor’s wife and the neighbor wants to “get even”; one person cuts another off on the highway; a young person is bullied at school. All of these incidents, and dozens more like it, push people over the edge and cause them to strike out to exact revenge at a time, and in situations, when the Bible is very clear about what we should do: Nothing. At least, not anything negative.
In fact, if we’re going to do anything at all the Lord says, “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.” (Romans 12:20 NIV). In other words, you will shame them by the love in your response. The Bible is very clear on our reaction: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21 NIV).
God doesn’t miss a thing and each person will have to answer for his or her actions, so if someone wrongs you in any way – do nothing. At least, do not exact revenge. That is for God to take care of, and He is very clear on that.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson