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Do Not Avenge Yourself

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 (NKJV)

We have been looking at several devotionals lately with respect to our response to those who persecute us, or who are our enemies—including,

·      Blessing those who persecute us (Rom. 12:14)

·      Do not repay evil for evil (Rom. 12:17)

·      Live peaceably with all men (Rom. 12:18)

Today we will be looking at the fourth of our duties to our personal enemies, as Christian men and women—we are exhorted, “Do not avenge yourselves” (Rom. 12:19). 

William Shakespeare wrote of our human character ever so truthfully when he penned, “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”

It is sad how we so easily and instinctively want to repay evil for evil—it seems we cannot identify the real enemy from those who attack us.  I say Satan is the real enemy, because he is behind every evil thing done to us.  There is a popular saying, “Hate the sin—love the sinner.”  And even though this is not a literal scripture we can clearly see these things being supported by several other Scriptures (Ps. 97:10; Rom. 12:9; Matt. 5:43-48). 

So God loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us, while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8)—I’d say this is love.  God is not asking us to die for other people’s sins—He’s asking us to die to our selfish desires to get even.  So we need to separate the sin from the sinner, so we won’t be tempted to repay others with evil when they attack us.

Q:  So how can we practically separate the sin from the sinner when we are tempted to repay with vengeance?

We resolve ourselves to hating what is evil.

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV)

The enemy knows he can successfully tempt many Christians to seek revenge because it appeals to our old fleshly tendencies.  But we must allow God to righteously judge those who offend us and to administer His proper punishment in His perfect timing.

For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about seeking vengeance according to the scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you find yourself tempted to get even with those people who attack or afflict you?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let’s choose to allow God to handle those people who come against us.  Let’s not let the enemy con us into thinking we have a right to exact revenge against others.

LET’S PRAY:  Father, thank You for Your mercy and grace upon our lives.  Thank You for Your patience during those periods where we have foolishly acted in sinful ways.  Help us to remember your mercy when we are tempted to be vindictive in a vengeful way.  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