The boys had been fighting. Their faces contorted in anger and their fists doubled. As I pulled them apart, I asked what had happened and why they were hurting one another. The following conversation ensued:
Child 1: “He called me a name, so I hit him.”
Child 2: “He hit me, so I pulled his hair. He deserved it.”
Child 1: “Yeah well, he pulled my hair, so I punched him in the face.”
Neither child was going to back down. Anger ruled the roost and both boys felt compelled to seek justice for the mistreatment the other had dished out. They were both headed down a rabbit hole of destruction. Sadly, such scenarios aren’t limited to little boys.
Anytime we are treated unfairly our natural response is to seek revenge. Our tendency is to get even or ‘one up’ our offender. But, as disciples of Christ we are called to respond to unfairness differently. We are to overcome evil by doing good, bless instead of curse, and turn the other cheek. We are even asked to give more than is demanded of us. Why? Because God will repay our offender for their offense. He will make sure that justice is served. Also, God knows how bitterness, anger, and retaliation darken our hearts and lead us down a never-ending rabbit hole of destruction, In His great love for us, he has provided a way out. However, the way out is in direct opposition to our natural bent. The way out is to back off and allow God to bring justice.
If you have been hurt or feel that you’ve been cheated, I encourage you to allow God to bring justice to your situation. Instead of being bitter and angry, pray for your enemies. Pray that they are blessed by God. Pray that your enemies will see truth and turn from their evil ways. These are not easy prayers to pray. They are sacrificial prayers of trust and acknowledgement that God is just. And as you pray for your enemies, God will bless your life in amazing ways!
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. Romans 12:19