Posts Tagged ‘Revenge

08
Oct
18

Getting Even Plus

When someone hurts us, our first instinct is to get even with them. We want revenge! Jesus addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount. He said:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. – Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV)

Here’s the problem with revenge. Rarely is it eye for eye. It’s two eyes for an eye. We don’t want to just get even. We want to get even plus. Jesus turns this thinking upside down and says that we need to go the extra mile by returning evil with kindness instead of revenge. Jesus expects His followers to be different from the world. That means that instead of revenge, we respond with love.
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09
Jan
18

Those Who Do Evil

Peter quotes Psalm 34:12-16 in chapter 3 of his first letter. He quotes David as he writes:

For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:10-12 (NIV)

Peter has been writing about responding to evil and insults with a blessing. Again, this is a difficult proposition, but we’ve got to remember that there is more than this life for which we are living. Yes, the temptation for revenge is great when we are wronged. But instead of taking matters into our own hands and repaying evil with evil, let’s let God fight our battles and let Him judge those who do evil. Our job is to keep our eyes on Jesus.
08
Jan
18

How To Repay Evil

When people mistreat you, what is your response? If someone insults you, what do you say in return? Peter tells us how to repay someone who is mean to us. He writes:

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. – 1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

Instead of revenge, we are to repay evil with a blessing. Say what? How is that even possible? How can we be expected to do that? If someone bops you in the nose, you want to bop them right back! The thing about revenge is that it is never an eye for an eye. It’s two eyes for an eye. We want to get revenge plus a little more. We want to teach them a lesson. Don’t mess with me! That’s not how a follower of Jesus should respond. God promises a blessing to those who repay evil with a blessing instead of revenge. God’s deepest desire is for people to be reconciled to Him. If you bless someone who mistreats you or insults you, you might win them over to Jesus. There’s much more at stake than your pride or hurt feelings.
27
Dec
17

Into Whose Hands?

Good Wednesday morning to you! When someone wrongs us, our human nature takes over and we want to get revenge on that person. We want to even the score or get back at them. That’s not what Jesus did, even to those who were crucifying Him. Peter wrote:

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. – 1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)

Rather than taking matters into His own hands, which He would have every right to do, He trusted God. He put His situation and His trust in His Heavenly Father. We need to do the same thing. When someone wrongs you, into whose hands will you place the situation? Will you take matters into your own hands or will you trust the Judge of everyone? Do you have enough faith in God to know that nothing escapes His knowledge or sight. The next time someone wrongs you, don’t seek revenge. Let go of the anger and trust God to handle the situation. How you respond will say more about you than how you were wronged says about them.
26
Dec
17

He Did Not Deserve It

In 1 Peter 2, Peter was talking about how slaves would sometimes be mistreated by their masters. Peter said that it was commendable by God when they would bear up under such suffering instead of retaliating. When talking about suffering, he writes about the example of Jesus. Jesus suffered unjustly and He did not retaliate.

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22   “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth. – 1 Peter 2:21-22 (NIV)

Jesus did not deserve the punishment He suffered. He went to the cross and suffered excruciating pain and humiliation for the sake of us all. He could have called down fire from Heaven to do away with His executioners, yet He did not retaliate. When we suffer unjustly, it is to our credit to bear up under it and not retaliate or seek revenge. Jesus is our example and if He could suffer even though He did not deserve it, we can learn to as well.
29
Nov
16

With Everyone

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. — Romans 12:17-18 (NIV)

In Romans 12, Paul goes over a laundry list of expectations for God’s people.  How are we to live on a daily basis?  I think that verses 17-18 are so very important.  Do not take revenge.  Live lives of righteousness.  Live peaceably with those around you.  People who do not follow Christ are watching those of us who do.  If we live by the code of an eye for an eye, we are going against Jesus who said to do otherwise.  How can we say that we follow the Righteous One (1 John 2:1) if we will not live righteously.  Those who follow the Prince of Peace must learn to live in peace as well.

Jesus is our example and He turned the other cheek.  He never sinned.  He preached and lived peace with all.  When we fall short of His example, we are scrutinized and deservedly so.  It seems that those who do not follow Christ are always looking for an opportunity to prove that His people are less than perfect and we give them ample opportunities!  Praise God for His forgiveness and grace so that when we fall short, He picks us up.  Our forgiveness is not dependent upon what the world thinks of us.  It is dependent upon the God of infinite grace and second chances.  All thanks and praise be to Him!

PRAYER: May all praise and glory be given to You and Your name today, O God. You are the mighty God and I give You glory and honor. Help me to be a peacemaker today and to live at peace with everyone in my life. Take the desire for revenge away from me so that I may have peace with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

07
Dec
15

The Desire For Revenge

Micah 2:1-5 (NIV)

Woe to those who plan iniquity,
to those who plot evil on their beds!
At morning’s light they carry it out
because it is in their power to do it.
2 They covet fields and seize them,
and houses, and take them.
They defraud people of their homes,
they rob them of their inheritance.

3 Therefore, the Lord says:

“I am planning disaster against this people,
from which you cannot save yourselves.
You will no longer walk proudly,
for it will be a time of calamity.
4 In that day people will ridicule you;
they will taunt you with this mournful song:
‘We are utterly ruined;
my people’s possession is divided up.
He takes it from me!
He assigns our fields to traitors.’”

5 Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the Lord
to divide the land by lot.

The people of Micah’s day were wicked.  Their hearts were full of evil.  They were greedy and covetous.  They not only coveted what others had, but they devised evil schemes to take and steal what they wanted.  So God was going to judge them and punish them for their wickedness.
They had forgotten their ancestry.  The Jews were once slaves in Egypt and they had nothing.  They were oppressed and a people without a land of their own.  God gave them land and now they were stealing the land of their fellow Jews.  God was going to punish them by another nation attacking them and stealing their land.
Those who plot evil and steal from others will be judged and punished by God.  Nothing escapes His sight.  God is not unaware of the wickedness and evil in our world.  Those who devise wicked schemes to exploit the poor will not escape His judgment.  Do not repay evil for evil, Peter said.

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.​ – 1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)​

​The Apostle Paul said the same thing:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

20 On the contrary:
“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.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:17-21 (NIV)

God will do what is right and He will not forget the oppressed nor the victims of the wicked schemes of evildoers.  ​

 

PRAYER: Lord, I pray today for those who are oppressed by evildoers.  The wicked seem to get away with so much in our world.  Help me to remember that You see all and are the Judge of all.  Help me not to seek revenge against those who come against me, but to trust You to do what is just and right.  Thank You for Your mercy toward me.  Help me to show mercy to others.  In Jesus’ name, amen.




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