Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
A couple of blogs ago I wrote Forgiving The Unforgivable. I got a lot of feedback and conversations within my circle of friends, parishioners and family. One of the common statements amounted to the fact that there was a fear that the person who did the harm to the victim would get away with what they did if the victim forgave the bully. In so many words this was the injustice of it all.
In one case I said, “If you do not forgive them you will remain the miserable person you have become because of your stubbornness to hang on to the hurt. It is eating you alive.” In this particular case, the person who had done the hurting did not know they had done so. Who is in bondage here? Matt. 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
This whole notion of getting even does not work in a living and breathing environment. We change every day because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Also, we are no longer the same people we were when we got hurt and the person who did the hurting is no longer the same person, for good or bad.
If the terrible event happened more than seven years ago the abuser and the victim no longer exist in body because every cell in their bodies has changed and regenerated. We are a whole new person according to our cells and yet the recollections of our hurt continue and live on fresh in our hearts.
Why are they fresh? The enemy of our soul will not let us forget them until we forgive and hand judgement over to God.1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. I’m not saying not to defend yourself in life. I’m saying getting even is God’s job, not ours.
There is a saying, “He who goes to law for a sheep loses his cow.” That is how they use to say, “Lawyers are really expensive, or you are going to pay way more for the satisfaction and justice you think you are owed.” As the proverb says, “Say not thou, I will recompense evil.” I will get even one day and then they will see how much they hurt me.
Not true. They will not see anything if they are the self-absorbed people they were when they hurt you the first time. The thing is, will you see what you have become when there is no joy in your heart because the revenge has no power?
God will not take part in our unforgiveness, or our revengefullness because God sent His son to forgive the world not just ourselves. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Someone wrote, “Unforgiveness is the single most popular poison that the enemy uses against God’s people, and it is one of the deadliest poisons a person can take spiritually.” I whole-heartily agree. The built-up desire for revenge and personal justice can lead to some serious sicknesses within people’s lives.
We were created in the image of God to extend grace, not fester and retain evil thoughts of revenge. Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Heb. 10:30 For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The older I get the more I realise it is a daily walk because each day has enough battles without dragging the old offences of the past into this day’s battle zone. The devil’s strategy of getting us to remember the hurts of the past and fret about the fears of the future leaves no place to live for Christ today.
Matt. 6:34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Today is the day of salvation and today is the day to stop wanting a vengeful justice that will not satisfy, or in most cases, will never happen. Personal revenge becomes a complete waste of time. Again, who is in bondage here?
I heard a story of a woman who had been raped and beat-up in Central Park New York while jogging in a secluded area. When she was released from the hospital, she was asked by reporters about her horrible assault. She stated that she had decided to forgive her attacker and leave the matter to the police. She said, “The man who did this to me owned my life for one day and he will never own another moment of my life. Therefore, I forgive and will go on to be healed.”
My thoughts were, what a graceful and powerful woman of incredible strength. I wondered if I could be so gracious and forgiving. Then I thought, God can get to work on the heart of this predator who had brutally assaulted this woman. I ask you, “What do you think happened to him?”
Heb. 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Only God can administer true justice and apply vengeance for everyone. God wants us to hand vengeance over to Him. 1 Cor. 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Proverbs 21:2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts. We are not talking about the horrible effects that the black death plague, the Spanish flu, or our modern-day HIV had on people's lives. But more insidious, and deceitful is a...