S11P10 – The action of love: control in the face of evil

Romans 12:19

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

When we come face to face with evil, there are things we are expected to do. Scripture tells us to fight, to pray, and to defend those who cannot defend themselves, among other things. One thing we are instructed not to do is avenge the evil we encounter. This scripture draws the distinction between defending against evil in a godly manner, and causing or bringing evil to others as recompense for their evil acts. This is a critical distinction.

Just as we are God’s representatives in the world, He also is our representative. When someone wrongs me, my Father will set all things straight. If I take vengeance, it likely will not be righteous and equitable. God, however, can only act in fairness and goodness. He cannot deviate from that. I am called to give my enemies not the evil they give me but the compassion and mercy I have received from the Father. My doing this shows the world a picture of God’s love, and God’s avenging me also shows the world a picture of his love. It is this love that keeps me kind and controlled in the face of evil, and that same love moves my Father to repay those who would cause evil to his child.

God bought us for a price, that of his Son. When someone commits evil against us, they commit evil against him. As the good Father He is, He fairly and justly avenges these evils in an act of love for his children. Vengeance is only within the purview of God. Father, give us the grace to remain controlled and holy when we are faced with evil, never desiring the vengeance that is rightfully yours.