Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 16-18; Romans 12
Today’s Key Passage – Romans 12:17-21
We have all heard the saying, “Don’t get mad, get even”. I am not sure who came up with this catchy little slogan or where it began, but I know I have seen it and heard it all of my life. I have seen it on bumper stickers and t-shirts. I have heard it in movies and television shows. I have even seen books written entirely for the purpose of educating readers on the best ways to get even with others. It seems our world really likes this saying, and our world really likes the concept of getting even. Revenge is a recurring theme in many areas of our society, and followers of Christ are not immune from its draw. No matter how hard we try to live a Godly life, most of us will be faced with the temptation from time to time to get even with another person. Our key passage today focuses on how we should react in those situations.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he gives them advice for how to react when the temptation for revenge arises. He begins by telling the Romans not to repay evil for evil. (Vs. 17) In addition, he tells them that if possible they should try to live at peace with everyone. (Vs. 18) He reminds the Romans that vengeance should be left to God and God alone. (Vs. 19) Finally, he quotes Proverbs 25:21-22 which says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.”
When someone wrongs us, our first reaction may be to get even. When we feel this temptation, we must immediately acknowledge that we are living in the flesh and not in the Spirit. To overcome our temptation to get even, we must remind ourselves of three things. First, we must remind ourselves of our true calling. We are called not to seek revenge, but to love and forgive other people, including the people who have wronged us the most. Secondly, we must remind ourselves that God forgave us of our sins even though we did not deserve to be forgiven. Finally, we must remind ourselves that the person we want to get even with is a human being created by the same God that created us. The simple truth is that God loves your enemy as much as He loves you. When we remind ourselves of these three things, we can resist the urge to seek revenge. At that point, we can forget the world’s standard of “don’t get mad, get even” and replace it instead with love.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.