I hope you all were able to complete the challenge from last week. If not, you can still give it a shot!
I titled this entry “The R-Word” because I thought it was pretty catchy 😊. When we begin to think of words that start with the letter R, a few that might come to mind could be repentance, regret, renew, restore, revelation, reevaluation, rich (lol), and the list goes on. The R-word that I’m referring to for this writing is revenge. What is revenge? Revenge is defined as 1: a desire for vengeance or retribution 2: an act or instance of retaliating to get even. 3: an opportunity for getting satisfaction. The third definition resonates with me. I’m often tempted to get satisfaction for a wrong done to me. It feels good when you tell someone off -be honest; you know it does. It can seem justifiable to pay someone back for what they’ve done or said to you that was deemed hurtful. But is it right? Folks often quote the Old Testament, “an eye for an eye,” but is it a legitimate scripture to stand on? Leviticus 24:19.
What do you do when someone has offended you or caused you harm? Do you retaliate? Do you curse them out? Do you hatch a plan to get even? Maybe you don’t do any of those things; perhaps you hold them in your heart and don’t forgive. Nope, I’ve got it; you keep a tally of everything they’ve ever done and wait for them to screw up just one last time- I mean, you’ve given them enough chances they deserve it, right? They’ve gossiped about you covertly and then, like Judas smiled and kissed you on the cheek. They’ve talked about how unqualified you are, how you don’t deserve X, Y Z. Revenge seems like an adequate response. It’s not difficult to point out faults in others, but we must be ever so grateful that the Father doesn’t keep an account of all of our offenses, mishaps, and sin. Who are we to do the same to others? We must extend mercy.
In Matthew 5:38-48, Jesus says that we are to love our enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. It seems easy in theory but can be challenging in practice. We were born in sin and shaped in iniquity, so it’s to be expected that our first reaction will be according to the flesh. We are commanded not to repay anyone for evil and live peaceably with others as much as possible. “Vengeance is the Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. If we decide to take matters into our own hands, that doesn’t allow for God to act on our behalf. As tempting as revenge is, we have to choose obedience to the Word of God and allow the Father to repay accordingly.
Challenge: I challenge you to choose one person who has wronged you and pray for them for one week. Speak well of them, pronounce blessings over them, and if you haven’t forgiven them, Forgive and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in your prayer.
Father, it’s in the name of Jesus that we come before you. By an act of our will, Father, we choose to forgive those that have harmed us in any way. We know that if we don’t forgive others, You won’t forgive our trespasses and sins. Help us, Lord, not repay evil for evil and allow us to respond according to the Holy Spirit. We want to please you in all that we do, In Jesus’ name.
Bleeding Heart Ministries (BHM)