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Repay No One Evil For Evil

Repay No One Evil For Evil
25-Ways to Honor God-Number 21

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 1Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV)

We are looking at a series of devotionals which are revealing 25-ways to bring glory and honor to God - these are actually duties or responsibilities for every Christian. We find these 25-ways in Romans 12:9-21.   

Today we will be looking at the 1st of our "Duties to Our Personal Enemies" as Christian men and women. These are our duties to those who we identify as people who are coming against us and persecuting us. And that 1st duty is also our 21st way in our series of 25-ways to honor God.

21.    "Repay no one evil for evil." (Rom 12:17)

This duty to our enemies is similar to our 14th way of honoring God where we were told to "Bless those who persecute us."  The main difference here is that we are specifically told now that when it comes to those who are coming after us with the intention of doing us harm, we are not to repay them with the same type of evil that they are inflicting upon us.

We need to know that "Evil" is from the enemy - and to use it would be to submit to the enemy's will for our life rather than God's will, and it would mean that we are using the enemies tactics to defend ourselves.  But some would question, "What about the Old Testament rule of an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth?"  It is true that the Old Testament specifies this law, but it is for imposing proper punishment on the criminal - it was actually instituted so the criminal didn't get over-punished as much as it was to deter people from doing the crime.
But again, this Old Testament law was for civil justice only, and was never for an individual to use personally for exacting revenge.  Justice is from God, and He uses "Civil authority" to minister this Justice.  We are warned of this civil justice in the Book of Romans.

For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God's servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. Romans 13:3-4 (NLT)

So, the civil authority that is both divinely appointed and mandated by God to punish evil is forbidden for our personal purposes - we are not to execute punishment by returning evil for evil. The Apostle Paul spoke these very principles to the Thessalonians.

See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 1Thessalonians 5:15 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you today to think about these principles and to meditate upon them so that you will be able to act properly when someone afflicts you.  It is God's will that we bless those who persecute us and not return evil for evil, and this is only possible when we purpose in our hearts to do this as we ask for God's help so we can instead agape love our offenders.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about exacting revenge on our enemies by the scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you find that you want to repay those who afflict you with an equal type of action?

APPLICATION: Purpose in your heart to do what God has commanded and then seek His power and ability to follow through with that commitment.  

Father, Thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for giving me the ability to do all of the things that You have asked of me.  I pray that You would empower me today to be the person that You have called me to be.  Give me wisdom, discernment and an agape love for those who mean harm to me.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000