God Vindicates His People
Imagine a child who comes home from school deeply upset by something another child said or did. On the verge of tears over a hurt looming larger than a mountain, it would be easy for her to be thinking that she would never again speak to the one who caused the harm, or to be planning out how she would get her own back one day.
Imagine, though, that her parents suggest she write a simple note, extending both forgiveness and friendship, and the next day, having done so, she is able joyfully to report back: “I did it! I took the note to school, and it worked. We hugged, and we’re friends. It was fantastic!”
This is what it means to obey Paul’s call here to live peaceably “so far as it depends on you.” Sometimes, peace will be elusive; but never let that be because of some lack on our part. And may it never be because we are chasing or plotting revenge. Vengeance is a dish only to be served by God, and never by His people.
Quite frankly, the majority of our disputes are really just grown-up versions of what happens in childhood. Our response in the face of injustice says a lot about what we truly believe. Will we “repay evil for evil” (1 Peter 3:9), which is the way of the world, or will we respond according to the mind of Christ?
All our conflicts and hurts pale in comparison with what Jesus faced and felt. Yet when Jesus was reviled, He did not revile in return. When He suffered, He did not curse or threaten. We must not make the great mistake of accepting Jesus’ salvation but ignoring His example, spending our lives trying to clear our names, defend our motives, and explain ourselves, seeking redress for every wrong and revenge for every slight. That is what comes naturally to us; and what frees us from that path is to remember that we can trust God to vindicate His people in due time. Justice will be served, and not by us. So, is there someone you need to reach out to in peace? Is there someone whom you are allowing to experience your wrath instead of your love in some way? Beloved, leave vengeance to God, and overcome evil with good. Today.
18Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
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