In our earthly lives, each of us is bound to face adversity. Unfortunately, some of this adversity results from the evil acts of others. This can cause us to get caught in the heat of the moment and try to get revenge on those who wronged us. Oftentimes, we want to see them suffer to pay for the suffering they caused us.
However, in the Bible, God instructs us not to repay evil for evil; he promises he will one day get rid of all pain and suffering. Our heavenly Father is the ultimate judge (see Deuteronomy 32:35). We are called to persevere in doing good to everyone, even to those who have wronged us.
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.’”
At the beginning of King Richard, we see Richard Williams teaching his daughters how to play tennis. While doing so, gang members repeatedly harass his girls, making inappropriate comments and refusing to leave them alone. When Richard tried to stand up for his family, he was beaten right in front of his daughters.
Finally, Richard had enough. He wanted revenge for their evil deeds. In his anger, he planned to shoot one of the gang members. Seconds before Richard was about to fire, his victim was killed in a drive-by shooting. Richard was saved from committing murder, going to jail for the rest of his life, and missing out on all of the important things in his life, including raising his family.
That night, Richard realized repaying evil with evil had terrible consequences, so he changed his perspective and focused on the good. Instead of focusing on the trials that came his way, he put his energy into being a good father and coach. He took the pain from his adversities and used it as motivation to give his daughters the best lives that he could. Because of his perseverance and sacrifice, two of his daughters, Venus and Serena, became several of the most successful tennis players in sport’s history.
Every one of us is faced with how to deal with evil. We can either stay a victim of evil, or we can persevere through it all, knowing that this is what God has called us to do.
9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Why is it tempting for us to want to repay evil for evil?
In what specific ways can we persevere through evil and instead respond in a positive way to those who hurt us? How can we show them the love of Jesus?
Pray for someone who has hurt you in the past. Ask God to help you let go of any remaining anger or resentment that you have against them and to help you reconcile the relationship if possible.
When you find yourself facing trials or adversity, pray first. Make space for God to work in the situation, and ask him for guidance.
Heavenly Father, thank you for providing me with your Word as a guide on how to deal with evil in this world. Please give me the encouragement I need to persevere throughout the adversities that I face each day. Help me turn my pain into motivation to spread the love of Jesus to everyone I encounter. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Isabelle Billnitzer. Isabelle is a regular attender of CedarCreek and serves in the children’s ministry. She is passionate about writing and loves spending time with her family and friends. Her goal is to show people the love of Jesus Christ.
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