Romans 12:19- 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.
Not long ago, I had someone in my life who was trying to cause me trouble. This was a person with whom I used to have a professional association, but I ultimately felt that association was not beneficial and decided to end it. I had terminated that relationship respectfully, and we both moved on with our lives.
Or so I thought.
It turned out that they were resentful about my decision to move on. Instead of dealing with that anger constructively, they chose to create and spread false information about me. Their intent was to make it harder for me to succeed in my new professional endeavor. When I discovered what was happening, I very much wanted to get back at them. As crazy as it sounds, I thought about all the ways I could make their life more difficult. Although I have never considered myself an angry person, it was amazing all of the thoughts I had.
As the situation continued, something about my approach didn't feel right to me. I had allowed my own anger to change my thoughts, and those thoughts became consuming. Before I knew it, I had begun to engage in a similar process as the other person, at least internally. The fact that I was becoming more like this person was the warning sign I needed to take a different approach. My new approach was to give the situation over to God.
Romans 12:19 tells us that God is the great equalizer. He will make things right the way that He sees fit.
Even though I could see malice in the heart of this other person, I had forgotten that God could see it too. It was not up to me to make it right. Ultimately, I realized that God was going to use the situation as a point of growth for each of us if we allowed ourselves to see it that way. Getting mired down in our own anger and seeking revenge only served our own desires and prevented us from experiencing the spiritual maturity that God intended.
It is impossible to go through this life without feeling that someone has wronged you. Because you are human, your natural instinct is to get back at that person and to "make it right". But God wants more from you. He desires for you to have a heart filled with grace and to trust Him to enact justice.
1. Think about a time when someone has tried to harm you or your reputation. How did you respond to that situation? How did you want to respond?
2. As you look back, what do you think God was trying to accomplish? What lessons were there to learn? How did your response to the situation effect your ability to experience those lessons?