August 29, 2014
READ: Romans 12:14-21
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God (v.19).
During a speech at a major Christian university in2012, business magnate and TV celebrity DonaldTrump told 10,000 students that the way to succeed in business is to “get even”, igniting an outcry from critics who said that Trump’s philosophy was inconsistent with Christian values.
“Getting even” may give you the edge in the business world, but it will definitely wreak havoc in your inner world. Instead of getting even, Paul told us to do the opposite: “Never pay back evil with more evil” (Romans 12:17), and “never take revenge” (v.19).
Revenge is a road a believer in Jesus must avoid. Why? Because it’s a right that God kept for Himself. That responsibility was never delegated to us (v.19). And it’s something that harms you more than it harms your enemy.
“Don’t get mad, get even,” may sound good, but it erodes the vitality and spirituality of those who practise it. People who seek revenge nourish their own bitterness, which can grow into a festering case of hostility, hatred and malice that will soon consume and dehumanise the ones who possess it. The presence of love in you—loving God and loving others—is destroyed when you get even. The counter-offensive? “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good” (v.21).
You may wonder if this kind of living is even possible. Fortunately, Jesus has revealed that it is: for while we were still His enemies, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8-11). “He is your example . . . . He did not retaliate . . . nor threaten revenge . . . . He left his case in the hands of God” (1 Peter 2:21-23).
We don’t need to get even. Instead, let’s let God take care of it. —K.T. Sim
365-day plan› Matthew 21:1-17
Read 2 Kings 6:20-23 to see how Elisha illustrated the principle lifted up later by Paul in Romans 12:2-21.
If revenge isn’t an option for believers in Jesus, what can you do? (1 Peter 2:21-23, 3:8-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:15). Why shouldn’t Christians get even?