When we’ve been wronged – sometimes we’re tempted to “settle the score” or “bring about justice.”
Instead of forgiving the one – or ones – who harmed us and giving them over to God, we may try to avenge ourselves.
But the Bible is clear that vengeance belongs to God alone – but what exactly does that mean?
Quite simply – it means that God is the perfect Judge – and He will right all wrongs.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” –Romans 12:19
Does this mean God always vindicates His people on this side of heaven?
No, it doesn’t.
In this evil and sinful world – those who hate God and do not fear His holiness live their lives as if they’ll never have to pay the consequence for harming other people.
While God has set up earthly rulers and those in authority (like the court judges) to hopefully keep those who break the law in-check – not every act of harm breaks the law by the world’s standards.
But the problem is, since we are all sinful humans, our motives aren’t always pure when we seek to “avenge ourselves.”
In contrast – God’s ways are not our ways – and when He judges the true hearts of men – it will be perfect justice.
And not only does God instruct us to NOT take justice into our own hands – He takes things even further and tells us to pray for those who have wronged us.
Talk about a tall order!
In our fleshly makeup, when someone hurts us – or someone we love hurts us – often the very last thing we want to do is pray for them.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:43–44
But why does God want us to pray for those who have harmed us? And love our enemies?
Because it shares the aroma of Christ to a dying world.
The world is used to people avenging themselves and making others “pay” for what they’ve done.
In contrast, a Christian who loves and even forgives someone who has wronged them is countercultural and points to a deep faith and trust in God.
This does not mean you don’t set boundaries and allow someone to keep hurting you.
And it does not mean that the justice system shouldn’t do its job and bring earthly justice to those who harm members of society.
But it does mean that by leaving vengeance to God alone, we can trust that His ways and timing are always perfect, and they never fail.
Is there someone in your life you need to forgive?
Do you struggle with leaving justice in the hands of God?
You can post your answers to our Facebook page and join in the conversation with other believers from all around the world.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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