Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord; I will repay. Romans 12:19
Often times, maybe even most of the time, when someone has done us wrong, we want to get even, make sure that the person who did this will be punished, and make sure we get our licks in. This goes against everything that God commands you, the Bible truth which says to love, treat kindly, and forgive your enemies. You can find the strength and humility needed to bring this to fruition in God’s Word, the only source for Biblical wisdom.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, [forgive] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Matthew 5:43-47
A Better Way
What if Jesus was like this? He wasn’t because firstly, God is in charge of retribution, and as Peter said God wants everyone to come to repentance and not perish (2 Peter 3:9). Whoever the person is that hurt you, he or she is still God’s child, and someone He wants to save from ellHellHeHellHell. What does that look like?
It looks just like you did kneeling at the feet of Jesus, confessing your sins, and asking for forgiveness. God forgave you; He forgives all who ask. You think it’s not fair, but neither is your salvation. You want your enemies to reap the harvest of their sinful deeds, especially the wrong they did to you, yet you were pardoned for yours. No matter the enemy’s crime, you must forgive your enemies to be forgiven yourself. There are no degrees of sin in God’s holy Word; each is the same and the punishment for all is death. Think of your enemy being thrown in the water and about to drown. Would you hold out your hand to save him? If you would not, seek God’s counsel; if you would then extend eternal life to him now. When you forgive your enemies, you show God’s love shed abroad in your heart (Romans 5:5). When you read your Bible daily, you will find all you need within its pages.
Sanctification is the work of God in us to return us to His exact image, not just the pile of dirt that we came from. Those who God forgives, you must forgive also if you ever want to progress in sanctification. Because those who God forgives are the ones who ask, and with this new birth become a co-laborer in God’s Kingdom and a brother in Christ which is why God said to be reconciled to your brother (Matthew 5:24). If you refuse to see this, you are rejecting the Bible to your own detriment.
God’s blessing to those who are obedient to His Word is salvation. If you think it is not fair for our enemies to escape punishment, you are right. It isn’t fair to our enemies, just as it is not fair to us. But we want pardon for our transgressions, but punishment for others. What about those who are not Christians?
If you hold onto that mindset, you are then being disobedient also. Remove the plank in your eye before you point out a speck in your brother’s (Matthew 7:5). Stop keeping score of injustices received, and count instead God’s forgiveness. The Bible seems to indicate that at some point after the return of Jesus that everyone will be called to give an account of their earthly deeds (2 Corinthians 5:10), and that transgressions will be shouted from the rooftops (Luke 12:3). That includes you. That should keep our minds occupied for quite awhile.
If injustice has been foist upon you, keep in mind God’s retribution, and if we think of those who are not Christians, it should make us fear for their soul, allowing that to penetrate and permeate us completely as we realize that we who have Jesus has everything, and those who do not, have nothing. If you forgive your enemies, you may well save them.