Thursday, April 22, 2010

Overcome Evil: Pay it forward not back!

Romans 12:17 says, "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men."

The Bible is so clear here. How do we so often miss it? Someone snaps at us, we snap back. He cuts you off in traffic, you flash your lights at him, swerve up and around him. As if we could really get back at him for doing such a thing to us.

Our nature will always want to stick it to the other guy. This is clearly not the way of Christ, nor His brothers and sisters. The Father will not allow His children to be mean or nasty with another.

The meaning of "respect" is a meaty word. It means that we are to make plans at doing what is right. There is an intentional flavor to this verse. Not only are we NOT to payback evil, but we are to payforward good to those who hurt us.

We are to do to our enemy what no one would imagine. We are to do something for them, to them, before them that is respectable to any one watching. "All men" here includes believers and unbelievers alike. When the opportunity arises to do some mean and nasty thing, which is what the watching world expects, it is then we are to plan to do something that will blow their minds!

You respond in such a way that everyone around becomes amazed. The crowds around Jesus were amazed by His teaching. They had never heard someone like Him teach. In the same way our treatment of our enemies should literally amaze those standing by.

This must be a planned approach though. None of us are ever ready to say the perfect thing at the moment we need it. Usually, five hours later we think to ourselves, "oh, I should have said this." We know those individuals who say things that hurt or sting. It may be your spouse, or kids, or best friend at church. Anticiapte the things they say regularly that kind of smart and have a response that will bless them and not curse them.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. - Jesus

1 comment:

TMS said...

DJ P, this is not easily done. After the way things ended for me in NYC I found myself fighting bitterness, jealousy and wanting to pay it back! I believe that God is leading me through this but one thing I did do was to cut off contact with two individuals. This was not done with public announcement but just deleting as friends on FB and blocking them on Twitter. I found that they were espousing that we still great friends, which we are not. If anyone asks why they are not listed as friends I just direct them to ask the two persons. I do not feel this was wrong but by any definition of friendship we would not qualify and did not want there to be this falsehood. Still processing it all! Wish you, Trish and the boys could be in Cincy next week so we could hangout a little!