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Payback

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.’” (1 Peter 3:9-11 NIV)

I read the Bible most mornings and try to apply at least one thing that day from what I have read. This particular morning, the scripture I read was in Peter and suggesting I repay evil with good.

Hmmm.  I think I can apply that to small things – someone says something not nice and I buy them lunch. Or a driver cuts me off and I let him in front of me the next time or smile and greet him warmly instead of thinking, “You idiot” and staring him down.

What about the larger things that happen to me? When someone breaks in my house or steals my car? What if I am mugged, or a family member is robbed at gunpoint?  What if a member of my family is seriously hurt by another person? What about 9/11?

Is there an out clause to the “repay with good” request of scripture?  Does “love your enemy” have a void policy?

Like many other people, I try to live my life based on the teachings in scripture.  I have defended a kid in court that broke in my house. Talk about a confused judge!  Victims don’t usually testify for the defense, but what if? I can’t even really find the words to describe it that won’t sound absurd.  Christians wrecking the system by testifying for people that perpetrated evil against them?

This scripture suggests that we were called to this, like it is some kind of expectation from God.  A call – as  in assignment, or work to carry out that would take careful consideration and understanding of purpose to be successful.

Could we have been called to repay evil with good?  To consider the purpose of the kingdom this deeply into our lives?  I am not sure many have considered the repercussions of this scripture.  Or perhaps many have, and collectively we have chosen to ignore it.

3 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. Same here, this message is good and truthful! I am a college missionary, aka don’t have extra money anywhere. Living paycheck to paycheck for Jesus is a freeing experience because it causes me to be humbled and to rely on Him unconditionally. That being said, in October, my car was stolen right in front of my place. 3 days later police found it, stripped, destroyed (they took everything but my miami Dolphins attire….crazy people, why not take that, they are the best team in the NFL you know ;)

    Anyways, it was hard because even though I was the victim, my car was stolen, i was violated, I was the one left with having to pay $300 to get it from the tow agency…and I HAD to do that otherwise the price went up everyday. It wasn’t one thing to have my car taken from me, then to find it destroyed beyond recognition (with dents on roof as if ppl jumped on it purposely), but I had to pay to get back a car that was unusable. Let me just say, this was a humbling experience, a hard one, but a POWERFUL one, because it reminded me that the people who did this deserved “justice or judgement” and I did “not” deserve to pay for those fines….sound familiar…just like Jesus did not have to pay for our sins on the cross, but he did. Now, I ain’t calling myself like Jesus (because apart from Him I am weak) BUT, if Jesus can have mercy on me, to the point he would give His life up for me, then what makes me showing these people who did this, mercy any different? It doesn’t….so I did, I forgave them, and what God did in response to that forgiveness, for that mercy shown, was SIMLPLY AMAZING! From that moment on, I have had the biggest desire to LOVE, to give back to this neighborhood where crime, drugs, and violence is an every day thing. Rather than be angry and upset at my stuff being messed with, I fully was able to give all my belongings to HIM, and if someone wants to take it all, they can, because it isn’t mine anyways.

    With this new heart change, and outlook, Jesus has allowed me build up strong relationships with the gang members in our neighborhood, He has shown the kids how they can come be safe and play and get food and hear about God by coming over to my apartment. Every day there may be violence and other car thefts going on, but that doesn’t mean I have to be chained to living with wanting those people to be “repaid with evil” ….God’s WORD IS LIFE CHANGING, FREEING, AND BRINGS US THE MOST JOY if we pursue it =)

  2. Amazing….17 years ago my marriage ended and shortly thereafter “the other woman” paid for our divorce and she married my exhusband. During those first few years, I was mad. I was hurt and I was mean. I could not mention her without throwing in the description “the woman who paid for our divorce”. One day God showed me that if I would pray for her to be blessed abundantly, maybe just somehow I could stand to be around her. Be careful when you are real with your request to Daddy because not only has her older daughter become one of my dearest blessings, but yesterday, I was able to go out to eat with my son, his baby and baby’s mom, her mother, and when my exhusband and his wife joined us, I was able to hug her, to laugh with her and to praise God for how much HE has changed me.

    • Charlotte, that ia an amazing Story that offers hope in this promise that we will be blessed more than we know when returning good when were hurt. God bless you.

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