What goes around comes around
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Romans 12:19 (NIV)
This world is so full of injustice and wrongdoing; payback is a common feature of society. Christians know that we should not seek vengeance, leaving judgement to God. However, it is easier said than done. For too long a time when I witnessed or heard of unfairness or injustice I would philosophically think or say, ‘Ah well, what goes around comes around.’ What I was doing inadvertently was willing something of equal measure to happen to the perpetrator. There was a sense of satisfaction in my rationale but I was very wrong in my thinking.
How could I carry on thinking like that when God’s word clearly says in Proverbs 24:17: ‘Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice…’. Jesus speaking in his sermon on the mount said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven…” (Matthew 5:43-45).
Why should I gratefully accept God’s grace and yet not extend it to others? God has forgiven me when I was in the mire of my own sin, and his grace and forgiveness are extended to all people: ‘…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8). And Psalm 136:1 tells us that, ‘His love endures forever.’
Now I must work on giving the benefit of the doubt and draw from the Holy Spirit the ability to pray for and love others, even the ‘wrongdoers’ because there, but for the grace of God, go I.
Father, thank you for your infinite mercy – help us to reflect this in our lives. In jesus’ name, Amen.
Study by Irene Wilson
About the writer:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International, and also serves on the Pastoral Council.
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