Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Blessed by My Own Words?

on May 21, 2014

So, as I wrestle with these resentments that are building up inside my heart, I fell across a post I wrote a while ago.  I was greatly blessed by the words on the page, as they spoke to exactly where I am, right now.  I just love it when God does that!

(Originally written on March 2, 2014)

“Love Journey: Do Not Take Revenge”

19 Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

I love the phrase “it is written” because that means that Scripture is quoting Scripture.  I enjoy cross-referencing verses.

Deuteronomy 32:3 It is mine to avenge; I will repay.  and Hebrews 10:30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

So, it is the Lord’s job to judge, and NOT mine!  Revenge comes out of the heart when someone feels they have been wronged.  Revenge is fueled by anger toward someone, with the ignitor being judgement placed or judgement received.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if we could all just leave judgement to the One who actually is the Judge?  Wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing if we could just step aside and let Him do His work?

I have to laugh a bit at that last question.  As I wrote it, I was thinking of all the time people in recovery circles are telling me to “get out of the way” and “let God work”.  As it is, I have a very difficult time releasing my desire to control the outcome of something.

When it came to forgiveness, I was a slow learner.  I thought, for many years, that forgiveness meant that I had to tell the other person that what they did was OK.  When it really wasn’t OK.  I harbored anger toward myself and others, because I could not wrap my mind around saying that what they (or I) had done was ‘alright’.  It wasn’t until I understood the real meaning of forgiveness, that I was able to actually begin the journey.  I think that meaning is tucked away nicely in this verse:

19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

It is the Lord’s job to handle other people’s sin, not mine.  When I am sinned against, it is NOT my job to handle the “punishment” of the other person.  I am in no position to do anything really, at least not anything to the other person.  I can choose to do something inside myself.  I can choose forgiveness, which is simply the act of taking the person and their sin to God, and letting Him control the outcome.

It’s amazing, when I practice the true meaning of forgiveness, how easily it has become for me to offer forgiveness to others.  God has truly shown me what forgiveness is, and what it isn’t.  He has given me the ability to develop of a heart of forgiveness for those in my life with whom I was struggling to forgive in the past.  Making room for “God’s wrath” instead of my own, has had a positive and lasting impact on my relationships.

So, Love is…

Choosing to hand the person/situation to God and letting Him handle the outcome, instead of wallowing in my anger, which will eventually lead me to a root of bitterness and rage.  

REFLECT:

Are you trying to control the outcome, or are you placing it in God’s hands?

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