Thursday, February 25, 2016

Don't get even

A friend of mine had been wronged by another person.  When I asked my friend how he was going to handle the situation he replied, "George, I don't get mad; I get even."

This is often the first response when someone has slandered us or taken advantage of us or has hurt us in some way.  We'd like to pay them back and make them feel the pain we've suffered.  We'd like for them to know a sleepless night or an upset stomach or a throbbing headache.  We even begin to think that we won't really be happy until we've gotten some kind of revenge.

The apostle Paul knew what it was like to have his service to the Lord be criticized and condemned.  He knew what it was like to suffer punishment for no good reason.  He knew what it was like to be on the run from enemies and their evil plans.  If anyone ever had a reason to want to get even, it was Paul.

That's one reason why I've found chapter 12 of Paul's letter to the Romans so amazing.  He encourages his readers (including you and me) to "bless those who persecute you," and "do not repay evil or evil."  How can we live in this way?  Only through the power of the Lord who enables us to set aside worldly patterns and "be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  Read chapter 12 tidat and then ask the Holy Spirit to continue His transforming power in your life so that you might become a "living sacrifice" who continually seeks God's will for daily living.