Rewriting Wronged Events
Rewriting Wronged Events
Paul in Romans chapters 1 through 11 relates the basics for our salvation. Then beginning in chapters 12 through 16 he relates to us how to make practical application of what he related in chapters 1 through 11.
Romans 12:14-21 Paul relates to us what our attitude towards our enemies should be. It also contains admonition regarding fellow Christians and all men. To help us with our understanding and our forgiveness of others I am going to quote the entire passage.
Romans 12:14–21 (ESV) 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 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.” 20 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.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
We find some great principles and blessings with our struggle of forgiveness in this passage. This passage is for all Christians. Each and every Christian needs God’s help in this long continuous battle of forgiveness. As stated in verse 17 “ Repay no one evil for evil,” it is very difficult to misunderstand this phrase – don’t return the evil you received from others, for this is “God’s job.” As Paul states in verse 19 “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
I understand the desire for vengeance, Paul tells us in verses 20 and 21 what God desires us to do and it’s very difficult. There is an incredible power and truth in this passage. Not only do we not have to be victims of the evil others inflict on us. We can actually overcome evil with good!
It might be very beneficial at this point in time to stop and go through the mental exercise of identifying your offenders, those who have caused you great pain and loss, who have given you the hardest time in trying to let go and forgive. Can you actually visualize each individual as someone who is in great need? Whatever that person’s relationship to you may have been they revealed a great need at the time of the offense, a need they misappropriated at your expense.
Do you want to fully experience the freedom of forgiveness? Then ask God to show you the real need in your offender’s life. Then asked Him how He might want to use you to meet their need.
We have related before what happened in the life of Joseph. He was wronged by his brothers, wrong by Potiphar’s wife, wronged by the fellow prisoners who had promised to help effect his release but who instead forgot all about him. When Joseph reached the end of his ordeal, when forgiveness had already become a matter of his heart, he set out to bless the very brothers who had gotten him into this mess in the first place. This is exactly what Paul is talking about in Romans 12:14-21. Joseph didn’t settle for simply showing mercy, that’s the hard thing to do. Instead he went way above and beyond by actually intentionally reaching out to minister to their needs thus extending grace.