Nothing hurts my feelings more than an unkind word thrown in my direction. Right away my impulse is to go on the defense and respond with vengeance. But God says, “Vengeance belongs to Him.” I get that but sometimes I wonder if He really cares about who hurts me.
Have you ever felt this way? Something inside tells us if God really cared, I would have been spared such pain.
The truth is God is furious with those who have hurt you and me. In fact, God’s passion to execute justice on yours and my behalf is extreme. Yet, the God who longs for us to be like Him, urges us not to take matters into our own hands.
That’s hard for my mind to comprehend. But God didn’t ask me to understand His methods but to obey them. Even when I’m tempted to push past His divine laws and get even, I must remember His way is best. Though God’s ways are mysterious to me, they lead to inner peace.
Think about it this way. By retaliating, I’ve become just as bad as the person who wronged me. I tried explaining this to my child and he responded, “But they started it!” Sometimes I can be child-like and say to God the same thing, “But she started it!” Then, get even. Doing so actually exalts the person who harmed me. In a way, I elevate that person as a “ moral teacher” in my life. I’ve allowed him/her to teach me how to behave by agreeing with their ways instead of God’s. How dumb is that?!
If someone hurts me, I want to “teach him/her a lesson,” but if I try to retaliate, not only would I fail to teach him/her how to be godly, I would end up letting that person teach me how to be ungodly.
So what’s the best way to teach this person a lesson? We don’t do it by modeling ungodliness. They already know how to be that. We show them how good it is to be on the receiving end of loving-kindness. We can stop evil in its tracks when we refuse to duplicate their behavior and “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
Returning good for evil is clearly divine revelation, not just because it appears in so many Scriptures, but because it is so contrary to human thinking. “Love your enemies,” sounds off the planet. It is! It’s from another world. It’s from heaven itself – a world so holy and superior that it is the opposite of the way this world thinks and acts. “Overcome evil with good,” sounds impractical but in reality there is simply no alternative.
God’s got your back. He’ll bring justice to those who have hurt you. Your job and mine, is to respond in loving-kindness.
Is God asking you to be a role model of godliness to another?
What evil can you overcome today by showing loving kindness?
This is a hard one. Let’s encourage each other. Leave a comment about how you overcame evil with good.