20 May A Proverbs A Day // Proverbs 20
The 20th // Proverbs 20
An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.
Isn’t that so the way that our culture expects us to handle those who have done wrong in this world? Today, it seems like seeking revenge is encouraged, promoted and even glorified! I watch as my kids say “I can’t believe she said that! I’m going to fight her!” or “Well, he cheated on me, so I just get to cheat on him, then we’re even!” Why do we have to be even? How many times has someone hurt me or talked bad about me and I’ve gossiped about them to someone else? Why do I feel the need to ruin their reputation in return for their wrongdoings? And this is not just in high school… Carrie Underwood, The Dixie Chicks and now Beyonce [just to name a few] all have come out with songs/music videos about a cheating [or abusive] husband and how the women respond by busting up their car or by killing the man… He got what he deserved, right?
Wrong. Why do we feel so strongly that we ought to decide what someone deserves and then give it to them? Is this idea of giving someone a taste of their own medicine healthy? Our culture perpetuates it, but is it right? Is it wise? There’s most definitely a theme that stuck out to me in Proverbs 20…
Do not say “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and He will avenge you.”–Proverbs 20:22
So often we believe that it’s up to us to teach someone else a lesson, but the Bible tells us that that job is up to God and that he will handle each person accordingly [20:22]. Solomon says that a wise king will weed out the wicked [20:26] and that He sits on a throne of love and faithfulness [20:28]. Earlier in Proverbs, Solomon tells us that the wise will be blessed and the the unrighteous will be repaid in turn. Solomon also had told us that we need to trust His plan and His sovereignty over all. According to Proverbs 20, seeking revenge is just as unwise as anything else. Because God promises that He has an ultimate plan for our lives, a plan to proser and not to harm us, seeking revenge is equivalent to telling God that you’re much better at handling the situation than He is. By seeking revenge, we are taking His job into our own hands and, therefore, telling God that we believe we can do it all better than He can.
It’s not up to me to get back at those who have hurt me. It’s not up to me to repay someone in kind for their trespasses against me.
It IS up to me to turn to God and to continuously love people who have faulted me. It is so much easier said than done, though. Today I pray that I remember that my God is a just god and my God is a sovereign god and that my God has it covered. I pray that when I feel the need to teach someone a lesson and turn their actions right back onto them, I can focus that energy inward on my own spiritual growth and humble myself to God’s will for my life and His will for the lives of others instead.