“Bless those who persecute you.  Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.” Romans 12:14

Never pay back evil with more evil.  Do things in such a way that everyone can see that you are honorable.  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.  Dear friends, never take revenge.  Leave that to the righteous anger of God.  For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord.  Instead, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them.  If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.’ Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12: 17-21

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies!  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.  If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.  Do to others as you would like them to do to you.  If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that?  Even sinners love those who love them!  And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!  And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.  Love your enemies!  Do good to them.  Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.  Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.  You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”  Luke 6: 27-36

Many of us have been sinned against in ways that we may never recover from. Our honor, or our body, or our loved ones may have been violated or degraded beyond the point of our ability to turn the other cheek. But we’ve been commanded as servants of the Most High not to return evil for evil.

We are to turn it over to God and trust him when he says “I will take revenge; I will pay them back.”

The natural human response is not to love someone who’s hurt us, but to hurt them back. As can be expected, God requires our reaction to be the opposite of what comes naturally.  In fact, without Him in the center of our lives, this command is probably beyond human willpower.  Even with our focus on Him, he didn’t say it would be easy.  But with Him, we can do as He commands.   “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world.  Is anything too hard for me?”  Jeremiah 32-27


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