Finding God’s Will part IV
See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15
God says, “Vengeance is Mine,” but the flesh says, “Vengeance is fine.” It’s basic human nature to want to get someone back when they’ve hurt us. But when we get someone back, we take God’s roll of Judge upon ourselves and take justice into our own hands. I’m not skilled in law, and I certainly would not want the job of being a judge in a court according to the laws of the United States. I could not imagine myself presiding over and deciding the fate of another individual. When I take things into my own hands, I’m placing the role and responsibility of the Judge of the Universe into my own hands, that’s a scary thought, right?
One of the big themes in the New Testament is that we must overcome the natural to perform the supernatural. In other words, when the natural flesh tells us to take revenge, we must overcome that desire and rather than get even we should perform good to them. I think the Bible does a much better job of explaining the point of 1 Thessalonians 5:15 better than I can.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’” - Romans 12:18-20
Really, doing good to others, even when they do bad to us is an example of the grace that was afforded to us as while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. Even the slightest sin is an offense to God and His laws, all sins are equally punishable by death, yet Jesus took our punishment upon Himself and offered us forgiveness from the debt of sin. The point of the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35), the servant owes his master a debt of 10,000 talents, if it was a silver talent the total debt would be would be $3,303,790,140.91. If the talent were gold the servant would owe a total debt of $16,788,956,403.74 (the weight of a talent as 31,560 grams and using the current market price of silver $1.05/gram and gold at $53.19/gram). Can you imagine someone you owed almost $17 billion telling you that your debt is forgiven and wiped clean? So after having $17 billion written off, what does the servant do, he goes out and finds a guy who owes him 100 denarii or $6,600 (a denarii is worth a day’s wages so using $8.25/hour for an 8 hour workday) and demands repayment at the threat of choking.
The point is that we owed a huge, overwhelming debt to God that was written off and forgiven. If God has forgiven us of such a huge debt, why should we hold other people to smaller, insignificant debts?