Walk This Way: Refuse Revenge

“Do not take revenge, my 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)

God is not asking us to be okay with being treated badly – being insulted, being cheated, taking a beating, having loves ones killed or harmed or trashed in any way. Nobody is okay with that. Your Father isn’t asking you to become so spiritual that you can just turn off the part of you that wants to strike back.

walk_350He’s asking something far more terrifying. He’s saying that to walk like Jesus is to have the patience to wait for the day when He will repay injustice with the molten lava of his terrible anger.

That makes me think, “Whoa. Wait a minute. Do I really want that guy who took my parking spot – or even that conniving former friend who betrayed me – to suffer the vengeance of God? Yikes.”

I’m so glad it’s not up to me who gets forgiven for their hurtfulness (through their faith in Jesus’ experience of the crushing wrath of God) – as I have been – and who remains the object of God’s anger toward injustice and sin. That’s not my job, and I should not want it.

Think: Whose vengeance would be more just and painful, yours or God’s? Would you ever really want to be responsible for deciding who will experience God’s vengeance and who will be forgiven by His grace through faith in Christ?

Pray: Ask God to help you not to take revenge but to leave room for God’s wrath.

Do: Pay attention to your heart this week and notice when you feel like taking revenge.