Summary: Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing. - 1 Peter 3:9 A phrase that is popular in modern evangelical circles is "What would Jesus do." It has become a mantra for some people as a commitment to follo ..
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing. - 1 Peter 3:9
A phrase that is popular in modern evangelical circles is "What would Jesus do." It has become a mantra for some people as a commitment to follow our Lord in his example. Of course this is Biblical and right to do but do we really follow in our Lord's footsteps? One of the areas of our lives that we are quick to react to and not be Christ-like is when we are hurt with evil in some way or insulted. When we are on the end of verbal abuse, unjust correction, chastised for being right, and even rejected by man-made rules. In the end these hurts can bring us to a place to want to react and lash out to those who hurt us and caused us the pains and abuse. In some areas of our lives we are can be unjustly hurt and accused. I remember when I was studying a school and for some reason a superior called me aside and spoke very harshly towards me accusing me of many things. It hurt me deeply and I remember in tears going to a chapel room and I gave it all to the Lord. The Lord brought me much healing right away and without speaking one word to anyone else that superior was fired from his position and exposed of many problems in his life. Though I did not pray against him or for harm to come to him, I know the Lord was disciplining this man who was hurting other people to remain in power. I do not glory in his diminishing from his position and trust the Lord is continuing to guide him on his journey. But all to often we pray in a way to bring hurt on others, thinking that is the right thing to do. We pray for others to be condemned to get what they deserve, for God to equal out their wrongs to themselves. Such praying and thinking is an "eye for an eye" (Matthew 5:38) and "evil with evil" and we must keep from desiring judgment even on the wicked.
Vengeance is not just physical actions we take against others. One of the most common ways to take vengeance is by saying things to hurt others. Sins at times need to be corrected in other peoples lives but the Lord himself knows the best way this should happen in his love and mercy. We are not called to curse but bless (1 Corinthians 4:12). We curse another brother or sister in the Lord, when we say that they will have what is coming to them at the judgment seat. I heard once it said in a strong christian disagreement this way: "I will leave you to the judgment seat, and then we will see who is right." Disciples of Jesus should never talk in such ways or desire anyone have to pay for their sins, failings and faults. The Apostle Peter speaks in this passage we are looking at to repay evil and hurts with "blessing" towards the abuser. In the passage after it speaks of keeping our tongues from evil speaking, doing good, seeking peace, for those who do these things are the righteous. Only in Jesus Christ we can seek the good of others that have hurt us, through misunderstandings or their own sin, we can still show mercy to those for without mercy we would never stand in our own walks. When we have this heart to bless others who have failed in the body of Christ, the Lord is attentive to our prayers (1 Peter 3:12) and we can work with the Lord to help restore one who has fallen or hurt others. This wisdom of God that operates directly opposite then the world will produce, life and true healing. Worldly wisdom says judge others, insult them and expose them for then they will see their faults and change. May we follow the heavenly wisdom that seeks peace and is full of mercy (James 3:17).