Sunday, September 7, 2008

Taking One on the Chin.



Worldly wisdom will tell us that we deserve our day in court. We need our pound of flesh. Even if not in civil or criminal court but in the court of public opinion as well. Someone wrongs you. Accusations are laid on you involving things of which you do not think you are guilty. The natural, and especially in this age, reaction is to counter attack. After all we need to defend ourselves. Don’t we?

Romans 12: 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. 20 To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ESV

In this section we see how a believer in Jesus is to react to unfair treatment. Wow. That is different then the wisdom of the world. However, the promise is in there that the Lord will recompense. He will repay the person who wronged you. Either in his mercy the vengeance was suffered by Jesus on the cross or some other way the Lord sees fit. The benefit for us in the long run is we do not have to burden ourselves with trying to exact justice.

Seldom will many people even notice the wrong he or she has done. If one were to confront the person the defenses will go up either way. That person will go to his or her friends for a verdict so a host of others will view the dirty business. The wronged will go to his or her friends for a verdict as well. If some of those who are asked to render said verdict knows both parties and is fond of them he or she is caught in the crossfire. The backlash against those parties can be severe for they are required by both parties in the conflict and thier associates to agree. What a mess!

Those are the consequences of not letting things drop. However, that is not the ultimate motivation for letting these go of those things.

Romans 12: 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. ESV

In grateful response to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross we depend on the promise of God to sort it out. It is so rare and quite possibly nonexistent that the injured party is totally innocent in the situation. Even if the party is innocent in that situation he or she has been guilty in another event or action for we are all by nature sinful and unclean. God grant us the willingness to think of ourselves soberly instead of being drunk with self pride and arrogance.

In the Name of Jesus. Amen. †


1 comment:

steve martin said...

That goes against my nature. But, God tells me it is so.

When I look at myself honestly...I know it is true.

My pride is too strong for me to handle, He has to kill me off to myself in His Word and sacraments.

Thanks St. David!

- Steve