“That’s not the end of it. He’s got it coming to him. I don’t have to put up with that! When the timing is right, I’ll get him good.”
Have you ever been in strike-back mode – at least in your thinking? We can have some pretty wild thoughts of retaliation. Our minds can race with possible words or actions to deploy in a strike-back offensive.
Maybe you are the only one reading this Bible-Bite who is struggling with bitter negativity. So, the Lord intends this for you.
Tossing and turning in bed; plotting and scheming at work; devising one-line zingers to hurl at your adversary. Yes, your festering wound has you fuming. You imagine a plan to get even when the right time comes. They aren’t particularly stellar moments in our Christian life when we are consumed by the desire to set the record straight or to get even.
Consider David’s attitude towards King Saul in 1 Samuel 24? The King was consumed by jealousy and envy. With hatred and ‘murderous’ intentions he pursued David. On more than one occasion, King Saul hurled his spear at David, hoping to pin him to the wall, but David escaped.
David and his men were inside a cave one evening and King Saul happened to stop for a rest in the very same cave. As the King snored away, David crept up and cut off only a piece of the King’s clothing. David’s men wanted to do more – much, much more than just cut off a piece of cloth; but David held them back. He was already feeling guilty that he had even touched the King’s garment – let alone harm the King in any other way.
What a magnanimous spirit David displayed! When King Saul awoke, David said to him:
Let the LORD judge between you and me, and let the LORD avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. 1Samuel 24:12
David told the King he had no intention of harming him. That was none of David’s business. He was not God. “If the Lord wants to deal with either of us, that’s His prerogative – but as for me, I will not harm you in any way. The Lord sees what is going on; He knows what is right and wrong and He has the power to intervene as He sees fit.” That was David’s attitude.
As a believer, I am dead wrong and always wrong, no matter what, when I am having ‘get-even’ or ‘get-him’ thoughts. Even the thoughts are sin and need to be brutally squashed and confessed to the Lord.
Here is one simple rendering of Romans 12:19-21:
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12:19-21 NLT)
Peter wrote words like this:
… if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1Peter 2:20-24
“Lord help me to be more Christ-like in my attitude. I confess I have harboured malicious, vindictive, ‘I’ll-get-you-back’ thoughts about _________. Help me to leave the matter entirely in Your Hands. Give me the strength to be occupied only with thoughts of Christ today. Draw me nearer to Him.”
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today,
Warmly in Christ
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