The Alternative To Vengeance
Never avenge yourselves (Romans 12:19).
Imagine that you own a business and you have just learned that a trusted, long-time employee has stolen thousands of dollars in cash and has suddenly left town. Disappeared. Vanished, seemingly into thin air.
You have no legal recourse. No insurance. No way to recover the lost funds. And no way to replace the valued, lost employee who was highly trained and knowledgeable about your business.
This would be quite a setback, wouldn't it?
How should we respond when someone wrongs us such as this, or in a million other ways? With anger? With revenge? That is the world's way. The world says, "Don't get over it, get even."
Even the Law of Moses says, "Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted -- fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Whatever anyone does to hurt another person must be paid back in kind" (Leviticus 24:19-20, NLT).
Many years ago, before I founded Campus Crusade for Christ, I owned my own business, and I can assure you that I would have been quite angry at such a betrayal.
That is human. But thankfully, we are called and equipped to be super-human! We are not called to vengeance and hate, but to forgiveness and love, not by our own strength, by the super-human power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
God tells us to respond to a wrongdoer in the way that He, our beloved Heavenly Father, responds to us -- with love and forgiveness.
Our Lord quoted the Law, but then gave His new command: "You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.' But I say, don't resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too. If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too" (Matthew 5:38-40. NLT).
"Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, 'I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,' says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: 'If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.' Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good" (Romans 12:19-21, NLT).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.