“My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: ‘I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them,’ says the Lord. But you should do this: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. Doing this will be like pouring burning coals on his head.’ Do not let evil defeat you but defeat evil by doing good.” – Romans 12:19-21
When someone does something to hurt us, our first reaction is wanting to get even. It is a common response to pain especially if we lose a loved one unexpectedly by a drunk driver, when we are cheated on, or if the things we work hard for are stolen. Romans 12:19 reminds us it is God’s responsibility to punish people who have caused us pain and not ours. God wants us to love people who have hurt us instead (Luke 6:35-36).
We are called to love our enemies and show them the same mercy as God does (Luke 6:35-36). If we do, it shows others that we are true children of God (Luke 6:35-36). God even shows mercy and kindness to those who hate Him by providing for their daily needs (Matthew 5:45, Luke 6:35-36). Not wanting to take vengeance on those who have hurt us is not always easy and will take God’s intervention for us to do what seems impossible.
Nevertheless, if a person does not repent of their sins they will be punished (Romans 6:23). God will punish them because He is holy and will not allow them to get away with sin. The person can be the person who has hurt us. God only knows if the person is sorry for what they have done. Therefore, we should not repay them with evil but overcome evil by doing good. We can do this by forgiving and praying for them or feeding them if they are hungry and giving them a drink if they are thirsty. This is the way a Christian can defeat evil.
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
When we have the feeling of wanting to get even with those who have hurt us, please help us. It can be a challenge not to because the pain can be overwhelming. We need Your intervention and help when this feeling overtakes us. Give us Your spirit of love instead of hate. Loving those who have hurt us can help people to recognize us as Your holy children. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!