Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Do Not Repay Evil for Evil

Title:  Do Not Repay Evil for Evil

Reading for July 7:  Proverbs 24-26

Do not say, "I will do to him as he has done to me;
    I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
Proverbs 24:29

What do you do when you have been unjustly attacked by someone?

The book of Proverbs goes against what our natural instincts would tell us to do. We are told, "The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult." (Proverbs 12:16) "Hatred stirs up strife," says the wise man, "but love covers all offenses." (Proverbs 10:12)

Jesus told us to turn the other cheek and to love our enemies (Matthew 5:38-48). He told us to treat others the same way we would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). He taught us to forgive and to receive back the one who has wronged us as God has forgiven us and received us back (Matthew 18:21-35).

That's risky though. Believing the best in people who have hurt you usually means being hurt again. Opening yourself up those who have already hurt you almost guarantees that you're going to endure further suffering.

But isn't that what it means to "take up the cross?" Nails hurt. Forgiveness is painful. We are absorbing the pain and giving up the right to justice. Love and mercy involves great risk and comes at a high cost to our hearts.

Do it anyway. Open your heart. Overcome your fear. Crucify it. Remove the judgment. Invite your enemy back in.

Father, remove all pride from our hearts this day and help us to replace anger with compassion... to replace revenge with mercy.