Do not repay anyone evil for evil. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:17a, 18-19)
| I was watching a Met playoff game recently. I wasn’t in a good mood, seeing how poorly they were playing against the Padres. At the conclusion of one inning, what initially appeared to the usual between-innings ads began running. Suddenly, an ad appeared for a congressional candidate in my state. He and some women appeared, and they were extremely angry. Why? Because they said his opponent would take away the right to abortion.
I was angry and infuriated – I yelled and called down God’s judgment.
My wise wife reproved me, asking what right I had to take over God’s role! I accepted her rebuke. I was reminded to be glad that God is slow to anger – he gives people time to repent ……. guess what, God was extremely patient with me! Otherwise, I would have been doomed!
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
The hymn “At Even, Ere the Sun Was Set” by Henry Twells gives me good attitude guidance for handling my disagreement with the other side in any debate:
“And none, O Lord, has perfect rest,
Twells’ point is not that I am so filled with sin that I dare not express an opinion, but rather that I express my opinion without having a sense of my own moral superiority. If I am on the right side of an issue, I am meant to be a humble expositor of God’s truth. Sometimes I might even be wrong and need to be corrected!
It’s especially easy to be enraged right now. Social media, Twitter, and political ads are not known for calm rational discourse and winsome arguments! Yet, we are called to be irenic 2.
How are we doing in our battle of rage and division versus love and seeking common ground? In our furious view that only we can set things right, how easy it is to forget who is really in charge!