An Unusual Punishment // Romans 12:21
This verse stands alone, but is even more profound in context; check out Romans 12:19-21, “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.” 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.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (ESV).
How often do we want to get revenge when we feel mistreated? It can be quite difficult to trust such imbalances to God, but that’s His desire and demand. Why? Because we (A) have limited knowledge of what happened; (B) what preceded it; and (C) the purpose God will push through it. So what are we to do? Continue to serve in Jesus’ name, which is precisely what the Lord taught and modeled throughout His earthly ministry, all the way to Calvary. What we read in today’s passage reveals something unique about human nature that I’m sure you’ve probably experienced at some point in your own life: being grace filled with a grumpy person will either turn around their attitude, or make them feel worse about themselves, issuing a very bizarre form of punishment. Misery loves company, and when we deprive it of its fuel, those flames of fury will burn out.
So, are you facing anything today that might tempt you to retaliate in kind? Don’t; rather trust God to do His job with His infinite wisdom and mercy. After all, He has extended this to you, too.