Last week I wrote about resentment and forgiveness (http://wp.me/p1QSbw-7B) – this is part 2 about revenge and forgiveness.
I like to read signs outside of churches for their charming, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant messages. Here are a few memorable ones:
- “Free trip to Heaven; details inside”
- “Prevent burning – get some Son protection”
- “Life has many choices. Eternity has two. What’s yours?”
- “Salvation: Free – Eternity in Heaven: Priceless”
One of my favorites is the one I mentioned last week: “Resentment is like taking a poison pill and hoping the other person gets sick.” Isn’t that so true? It has been medically proven that people who do not forgive live shorter lives, have more heart attacks, love less and are less loved. Holding a grudge, staying angry, not forgiving is just bad for your health.
But there is another reason, a much more important reason to forgive. Paul explains in Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Jesus makes a promise in Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
And God commands us to forgive and not take revenge in Romans 12:17-21: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 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. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Paul’s point in this passage is you can play God and try to take revenge or you can love the other person and let God do what he promises.
Who do you need to forgive today?
In His Service,