Scripture: Proverbs 24:29
“Do not say, ‘I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that man back for what he did.’”
It comes naturally for us to want to give back “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” In other words, to do to others what they have done to us. However, as we read here and the Apostle Peter tells us: “do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing,” (1 Peter 3:9).
When Jesus came He personified this truth bringing light and life to all of us by doing the opposite of what we would expect. In response to the “pride” that ruled this world, He came in humility – humbling Himself to come to earth, humbling Himself to wash feet, humbling Himself to the cross for us. In so doing, He defeated pride and forever gave us a pattern of how to respond in His way and in His power.
The Scriptures echo this Proverb. Jesus said, “Pray for those who persecute you, if you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” (Matthew 6:43-46). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Do not take revenge. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14-21).
Ask God to help you identify the attitude or atmosphere you are encountering and then ask Him to help you respond in the opposite attitude – knowing that light always wins over darkness, truth always wins over lies, and He will bring victory as you respond in the power of the Holy Spirit. May we “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” (Luke 6:31)
God, we need Your strength and power to have this kind of wise response. When we are wronged, it comes so naturally to want to get even and take revenge. Would you teach us Your ways and help us respond as You would? Without the power of the Holy Spirit to help us, we cannot do this. Fill us with Your light, Your strength, and Your ways so we can reflect You to this world by choosing Your response to our circumstances and those around us in love.