22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.
22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you. (NIV)
Growing up, my siblings and I frequently were at odds over things. One of us would do something to one of the others that was down right mean, usually over something trivial. The usual response from whichever of us was wronged?
“I’ll get you for this!”
And we tried.
The usual result was the same, too: two or all three of us would be in trouble with mom and dad!
Forgive Your Brother
The Apostle Peter once asked Jesus, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” (Matthew 18:21)
Jesus’ response was and is revolutionary. He told Peter, “Not only seven times, but seventy times seven!”
In other words, you need to forgive those who wrong you as many times as they wrong you!
One of two things will happen as you forgive:
- God deals with them personally, whether through consequences or at the Final Judgment.
- They seek to understand your forgiveness and turn to God!
Another way to think about is that you can live in sin by responding to their sin, and in effect kill both of your souls; or you follow God’s will and potentially save both of your souls and bring glory to God!
Gracious Lord, thank You that You did not respond to our evil with evil, instead using our evil to redeem us and forgive us. Give us the strength to forgive those who have wronged us, as You forgave us.