Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 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.” Romans 12:17-19 (ESV)
Do you keep a scorecard of those who have wronged you? Do you want to get even with those who have harmed you? Would you like to right every wrong and avenge every hurt? If you could, would you repay every evil with your very own evil? What can I say? You know every one of my thoughts, words and deeds. Nothing is hidden from you. Yes, I have kept a scorecard of those who have wronged me. I have been very slow to forgive and forget those who have harmed me. Even when I have forgiven others and let go of the pain that I have endured, I have almost never come to live in a restored relationship with those who have hurt me. That’s not good. Yes, I know.
If you know where you have fallen short and missed the mark, what would you like to do differently? I would like to forgive others just as you have forgiven me. I would like to love others just as you have loved me. That is very good. What else? I would like to leave revenge up to you. It is not my job to judge others. It is not my role to avenge wrongs that have been committed against me. I will leave all that up to you. That will be very good. What else? Instead of seeking to get even, I would like to do what is right and good to everyone. I would like to do what is honorable in the eyes of all. Including me? I especially want to do what is honorable in your eyes. I want to be a bold and bright witness for you in the world. I want others to see your life being lived out in and through my life. That will be very good. What will you experience when you do what is honorable in the eyes of all? When I treat others with honor I will live in peace. I will make friends with those who have been my enemies. I will win over people who have been my adversaries. Yes, you will. Others will want the life that you will be living. They will want what you have. They will want to live in an intimate relationship with me. Will you let me use you in this way? Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, I will set aside vengeance and leave that to you. It’s not my role. It’s not my responsibility. Instead, I will think, speak and act in ways that are honorable to all. Help me to live in peace with others so I can be a bold and bright witness for you in the world. Amen
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