What is your initial reaction when you have been hurt or wronged by another? Usually we want to strike back at them-to get even! Since we have been hurt we will make sure others hurt also. This is why people have trouble in marriages. It is why friendships break apart. It is the thing that causes families to disintegrate.
The New Testament of our Lord has much to say about this topic. Jesus Himself said, "..but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matt. 5:39 NASB). What? This is just not right! Why should I "turn the cheek" when I am the one wronged?
In the same chapter of Matthew Jesus said, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44 NASB). If a person is an enemy, why should I love them? Enemies are to be hated, aren’t they? It just doesn’t make sense.
The Hebrew writer said, "For we know Him who said, vengeance is mine, I will repay" (Heb. 10:30 NASB). It is God who has the right to avenge a wrong. Sometimes we want to hasten God or do His work for Him.
Finally, Paul said, "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone" (Rom. 12:17). Never? That is just not our nature sometimes is it? Because when I am wronged someone will have to pay! Our God never intended for us to do anything but love one another. It is imperative that we care about each other and help one another if we can. Why? Because our God did that for us.
We are sinners and sin separates us from God. Instead of Him "getting even" or "repaying evil with evil", He gave us His Son to die on a cross. He could have taken vengeance on us but loved us enough not to.
This shows me a totally different way to live. That’s what’s so marvelous about Christianity. It is followers of Christ not demanding their rights or taking the opportunity to "get even." It is someone willing to suffer through a wrong done and letting God deal with the problem.
Does that mean we should be trampled on or used as a punching bag? NEVER! We are to have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2) and live every day the Christian life.
Hopefully we will strive each day to be God’s person. If not, that only leaves one option and it is the worst one we could ever take. Which have you chosen?