A Higher Standard

“This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” “I merely did to them what they did to me.” Samson in Judges 15:3 and 15:11
 
Getting even is a mathematical impossibility. On a pain scale of 1-10 you may think that what was done to you qualifies as an 8, when the one who did it to you sees it as a 3. So when you drop an 8 or 9 bomb on them (to get even), they don’t see the score as even.

I had many encounters with ‘Samson’ in the neighborhood, on the school playground and as a parent of children. Each one simply followed the theme of Judges, “…each man did what was right in his own eyes.” 21:25. Retaliation took on many forms because the one wronged felt they had a right to get even.

Jesus has established a higher standard for his followers. “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23. This standard is so opposed to our old nature, which demands justice and is so quick to take matters into its own hands, that it may be that the only way to keep from retaliating in some manner is to lay down your ‘right’ to get even. This is not easy because we know that the wheels of God’s justice move ever so slowly and we may feel the temptation to assist him in the process.

Resist the urge and know that it takes a much bigger man to be meek and show mercy to one not deserving it in hopes that your kindness will play a part in leading them to repentance. If it doesn’t, then we can be confident that God saw it all and will consider it to take it in hand at the proper time.

There are far more important things to be doing with our limited time here, don’t waste it on gutter warfare.
 
Pastor Doug