Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (ESV)
If you have ever been betrayed by someone the words of this verse might very well be challenging to you. When someone does us wrong, our natural instinct is to fight back. We want to make the one who hurt us to feel hurt in return. Somehow, we convince our selves that if we can just bring vengeance against our enemy it will make us feel so much better.
Revenge is not as sweet as we may think. The reality is that we cannot change the heart of the person who hurt us. We might be able to hurt them back, but that only makes two people hurt instead of one. It does not solve the situation. God is very aware of the situation. He knows how to mete out proper justice and repaying those who have engaged in evil behavior.
Paul is a great person to be delivering this message to us from the Lord. After he had been radically saved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ he was zealous to share the truth with his fellow countrymen. What was their response? They tried to kill him every where he went. His martyrdom by Rome was primarily the result of the Jews' persecution.
Paul could have easily allowed himself to be consumed with bitterness toward the Jews. His own people had betrayed him. He could have fought back against them. He did not. The fact that Paul was able to give his hurts to the Savior and forgive those who were mistreating him enabled him to effectively communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am sure that if you are reading this you have been treated unfairly by someone. Let Jesus fight your battles for you. He will bring justice. You offer forgiveness. It makes for a lot more peace in your heart.
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