Do not pay anyone back evil for evil. Focus on those things that everyone considers noble. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, maintain peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay,” says the Lord. But: If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For by doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please give us the strength to overcome ourselves and our pride. There are so many things that people regularly come at us with like: they could hate us and try to kill us, steal something from us, challenge our marriage, lie about our good name or say a mean, hateful word, or try to get our stuff through underhanded ways legally. Lord, you set your commandments in place for each of us, and when someone wrongs us, we often want to go to your passage, “an eye for an eye.” But that was guidance given to the government and judges to administer punishment that would not be excessive.
When someone attacks us, it wounds our pride, and we want revenge. Instead, you tell us through Paul’s words to do the opposite. To take care of our enemies’ needs by feeding them and giving them something to drink; is what you did for us. When we were your enemies separated from you by our sins, you sent your Son to suffer our punishment, then forgave us for Jesus’ sake. You feed us and give us the drink in the Lord’s Supper that assures us we are forgiven and provides for our souls. The way you sustain and take care of us, we have to trust that you will also take care of us when someone does something evil against us. Give us strength that we will serve them good in place of their evil. And perhaps in this, they too will realize what they have done and restore them back to you. So be with us to leave the vengeance to you and share your peace with others who just might need Jesus. Amen.
Written through Pastor Roger Emmons
Restraint and kindness are done from strength. With faith in Jesus, we have a mindset to love others because of what he has done for us. He loved us regardless of how we treated him; he died for us because of how we treated him.