Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 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. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21 (NIV)
What Is Right
Will you do that? Will I do what? Will you do what is right? I know you want me to always do what is right. Yes, I do. But do you have a specific context in mind right now? Is there some circumstance in which you want me to be particularly careful that I do what is right? Yes, I do. You have asked a very good question. What are your typical thoughts when someone has done some evil against you? I think about how I might seek revenge. I think about how I might get even. I think about how I might be able to inflict some pain and suffering on those who have hurt and harmed me. All these thoughts are a complete and total waste of your time and energy. Yes, they are without a doubt. Why are you agreeing with me so quickly and easily? I have thought these thoughts of revenge and pay back, but I can’t recall ever acting on them. So, these have been your thoughts but not your actions? Yes, that is generally correct, I think. Why think evil thoughts that you will never act on? Do you think there is some virtue in thinking evil thoughts but never acting on them? No, I’m sure that I should not dwell on evil thoughts, even though I will never act on them. But you do act on them, only not in the way you have been thinking. What do you do when someone has hurt or harmed you? I move on. I distance myself from anyone who has ever hurt or harmed me. Say what you do a little more clearly. Alright, the truth is, I cut them out of my life completely. I will never give them another opportunity to hurt or harm me again. Is that good? Is that right? Is that my desire for you? Is this my plan for your life? Would this be following my example? I’m not proud of the course of action I have taken. That’s good.
What is good? What is right? How do you think I want you to respond to evil that has been done against you? You want me to repay evil with good. You want me to always do what is right. You want me to follow your example. What is my example? You repaid evil with good. You loved even those who hurt and harmed you. You loved your enemies. You overcame evil by doing good. Will you follow my example? Will you always do what is right? Will you repay evil by doing what is good? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I have been tempted to repay evil with evil. I have wanted to get even for the evil that was done against me. This is a foolish mistake. Help me to always repay evil with good. Help me to do what is right so that I will be able to overcome evil with good. Amen
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