Obviously there are 2 different God’s, the angry vengeful God described in the Old Testament and the syrupy sweet God of love described in the New, ever hear that? I think a common misconception is simply to misunderstand the dispensational nature of God. To think that God’s nature somehow changed is truly a lack of being a Berean and searching out scripture for ones self, reaching conclusions before first taking the time to examine all the information.
Consider this verse made by the vengeful God of the Old Covenant….
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” Leviticus 19:18
So am I saying that God has always been about love, that the message to man has always been one centered upon love, Yes! And He has always promised to protect that which is His own, suggesting that He would watch the backs of those that are His own.
“Do not say, “I will recompense evil”, Wait for the Lord, and He will save you” Prov 20:22
Now if I wished to make a post so lengthy no one would read it we could bounce back and forth putting into context the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” references and why it was essential in it’s application but that’s not the point nor would I wish to debate it as indeed it was a valid instruction as well. However the intention of this posting is about how I react to others when they’ve treated me in less than a pleasant manner.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry feed him; if he is thirsty; give him drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. Rom 12:17-21
We all have feelings, I know I do, and they are vulnerable to being bent outta sorts, and it probably hurts worse and is harder to deal with when the hurt comes from within those closest to you, your own family. Whether we like it or not if you be a believer as I am a believer you and I are therefore family, an eternal one, that’s right you may have to put up with me for a very long time…hey I don’t write the news just report it haha.
Truly I understand the compulsion to defend myself, to right an injustice, to correct an error, to protect myself from someone who is treating me unfairly and with contempt. It’s at that moment I am tempted, heck let’s be honest here, more than tempted to respond back in like manner, harshly and directly after all they started it, so easy to tell myself “would I not be justified in so doing”?
Well I’ve done it that way, I admit it. But ya know it never accomplished anything other than antagonizing the matter, turning an ember into a raging fire, don’t ya know there are those among us that want nothing more than to rob others of their peace. For whatever reasons, be it spiritual pride, or perhaps a poor soul so miserable inside that they cannot bear to see someone else appear to be happy and content in their midst, so hopelessly self centered that the only way in which the feel they can achieve any solace is to pull everyone else down into their pit of despair, is pretty sad.
But Love does not desire nor does it breed misery! Love wishes to multiply itself by way of imparting itself upon others, how did Paul put it, “Love never fails”! And the funny part of it is it’s a choice, that’s right we must choose it. And ya know I haveta admit sometimes that’s much easier to say than to do, but I can also say it get’s easier to do after each application and the result of the actions are clearly seen.
God watches our backs when we do things His way, He truly does, seen it time and time again, if we choose to try it in our own strength, our own way He will allow it, I know I’ve taken Him up on that liberty many times, but through those times He allowed His point to be made manifest, He really has this stuff figured out.
And our Father loves us, cares for us, and does watch our backs.
Gonna share a quick little story as I’m thinking this is probably getting pretty long, sorry about that. This is one of the instances that God used a long time back to show me He was fully aware of my every situation and would always watch my back if I waited on Him….
I was part of an on site maintenance crew at a large apartment complex and one morning I walked out to my car and seen a huge dent in the door, someone had backed into it but good. Now not just someone but a neighbor, I couldn’t help but notice traces of the color of my paint on their back bumper. There was no note on my car or any attempt whatsoever on this persons part to do the right thing in taking responsibility. It was one of those times I was really working on fine tuning my walk with the Lord and haveta admit I was very tempted to go jump in the guys face, call the law, kick his car, heck anything, but 2 guys from my crew were with me and aware of the situation, 2 guys I had been witnessing the power of God in my life to, so how ya gonna react here Rock? Now this was a long time ago and I’m trying to be accurate as possible but if I remember correctly in this incident I just took a breath and walked away.
Now of coarse they thought I was out of my mind and honestly I can’t remember why I handled it this way other than to allow God an opportunity to prove Himself to me, it may not have been as much about them actually, at least not in my mind. Well however be the actual intentions involved in the situation let me share how it worked out and I’ve never forgotten it, I’m betting these 2 co workers haven’t either.
It was sometime later, not long a few weeks maybe, we were making our usual rounds and wow, this guy had taken his car in for a brand new paint job and it looked really nice. A few comments were made by them about how unfair it was his car looked so good and mine had a dent etc which I admit I did feel that sense of unfairness but still I didn’t say much, God’s in control I assured myself.
It couldn’t have been a day or two later we are making our pass doing our grounds inspection as we did every morning and one of them said “look at his car”! Someone had obviously ran into his car, with that brand new paint job and had done 3 times the damage to his car than what was ever done to mine. They looked at me for my response and I’m like “Aww that’s a shame” adding something along the lines, “God watches my back” and I felt such a peace for not retaliating and allowing God to show me, and more importantly my 2 co workers, God is in control and doesn’t miss a thing, He protects His children and no one gets away with doing them wrongly. I know I shared many words about the Lord to them but I’m thinking nothing impacted the reality of what I was trying to say to them as that one instance by way of example.
Late…off to bed