Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 4 of “Fan or Follower – Deal with Division” (LISTEN HERE).
What do I do with injustice?
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 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.
As the Lord is so intent on doing, he is working to remove from our heart emotions of revenge, envy and hatred for those that wrong us. Yet by removing these emotions and replacing them with love for our enemies and encouraging us to show kindness to those that want to harm us, there still lingers a question about resolving an injustice that comes our way.
Can a Christian seek recourse when they are wronged?
Seeking recourse is different than seeking revenge. Revenge is driven by anger to make the person hurt. Recourse is driven by justice to seek what is a fair retribution for the wrong incurred.
For example, if one is injured in a car accident by a drunk driver, one might seek a settlement that cares for the injury for the life of the person. While we are encouraged to forgive the driver, that doesn’t inherently mean they have a jail sentence or their license to drive revoked.
Our judicial system is a legitimate avenue to bring a fair retribution for harm incurred.
But the Lord checks our heart as we proceed or if we proceed. We pray for the person who wronged us. While we can seek justice, we seek the desired change and pathway to change that will keep that person from harming others in a similar way.
These situations are probably more rare in our daily interactions. It’s the little wrongs that irritate us, lead us to lash out, and in small ways seek revenge.
It’s these situations that this teaching of Jesus encourages us to work to repair relationships that are broken or strained.
The Apostle Paul encourages a similar approach:
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends,
It may not always be possible, but we give it our best effort to repair relationships that are broken and live at peace with everyone. Revenge is not an option. Repair is.
However, there may be situations in your life where it seems like the one who harmed you just gets away scott free. The temptation is to do what you feel the judicial system didn’t, or to make the person pay when it seems like no one cares.
This is a real temptation…yet, one to fight against. Revenge is not ours to engage in.
So what’s the solution?
Romans 12:19b “…but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Finally anyone who wrongs us or others will have to face the Lord. If there is vengeance to be meted out, the Lord, in his perfect justice will. He knows the situation and he knows the heart. He will avenge or repay, if it is needed.
So we can release the situation to the Lord and trust he will carry out what is just and fair. In releasing the situation to the Lord, we also release our heart from seeking revenge.
So as a follower of Jesus, we will work to repair relationships and let God deal with revenge.
Apply: Is there a situation from your past or present where thoughts of revenge still linger? Turn the situation over to the Lord and let your heart be at peace and know God is perfectly just and will deal with revenge.
Prayer: Lord thank you for your perfect justice and grace and the promise that you will apply both perfectly. AMEN.