When I am wronged I feel like a big, ugly, raging gorilla. And all I want to do is get even. But God said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (Deuteronomy 32:35, NIV). And Jesus said, “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39b, NIV). At first these words made no sense to me whatsoever. That is, until I considered the promises vengeance makes and its actual results.
When I consider vengeance in my heart it promises to “teach that person a lesson” and to “set things right.” Upon looking back at my own vengeful behavior all it taught the other person was how to be vengeful. It set nothing right. And, in fact, it only put more hatred between us.
When I realized there was nothing to be gained by revenge I looked at God’s commands differently. Jesus loved His enemies and prayed for those that persecuted Him. And He committed all things to His Heavenly Father’s care, even His death. What are the results of such love?
When others have been good to me when I didn’t deserve it, it has disarmed my anger. There was no motivation to continue in anger when the other party is returning genuine kindness and concern; having been given a listening ear, now I wanted to listen. I received a sense of being valued, which to me was far more valuable than what I was fighting for. I learned from them and wanted to set things right.
Love accomplished what vengeance could not. But returning love for anger is tough. We may fail at times, many times. But it is worth the struggle, because when we succeed we can be sure that the results will last forever.
To learn more about love, read the Bible, (Matthew 5:38-48, Romans 12:9-21); talk to someone who loves Jesus and others; visit a church that honors the Bible as the Word of God.
If you have any interest at all in God or Heaven, this may be a special time for you. That’s because your interest in God can only be placed in your heart by God Himself. And God places it there because He loves you and knows that a personal relationship with Him is the best thing for you.
When is the best time to start a personal relationship with God?
“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
The Apostle Paul in The Bible, 2 Corinthians 6:2, NIV84
Today, right now, you can begin your journey with God. Simply ask Jesus to forgive the wrongs you have done. Ask Him to come into your life and lead you where He wants you to go. He is waiting to hear from you. And you will never regret your decision to follow Him.
But, following Him will not be easy. Jesus Himself said that His way is narrow and hard. But He will give you Himself to be your strength one step at a time. And, He will give you His joy and peace along the way!
To learn more about starting your journey with God, read the Bible (Matthew 5:1-20, John 3:1-21), talk to a friend who is walking with Jesus, visit a church that preaches Jesus is God.
Thank you for praying for my wife’s eye. Her pressure is healthy for the first time in years. This was her fourth major surgery in six months. It was the third attempt to relieve the pressure and it was successful. Thank you again for praying. – Jim