Dealing with offenses
I know Iím not supposed to feel this way but Iím human! What else was I supposed to do? Everyone curses every now and then! No one is perfect! I canít be a hypocrite! Iím a real person; I just call it as I see it. Iím nobodyís fool. We can take this outside! Back on my block we would have already handled this situation! Take your pick Ė do any of these sound familiar? Some of us are proud of a reputation that lets the world know that we lack self-control. We justify our outbursts of aggression because we donít want to deal with the root of the matter.
Anger is an emotion. It is, according to dictionary.com, ďA mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changesÖĒ We can allow emotions to cause us to do things quickly that can damage us for years to come. Our lives are so fragile. It is easier to destroy life than to build up someoneís life.
We live in a society that says that if someone hurts you, you have to hurt them back even worse. Some of us will argue that the Bible says an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Matthew Henryís Commentary sheds light on this, by explaining that this rule was set in place as the limitation for a crime committed. This rule was to ensure that the crime and the punishment matched; notice, the text did not say a limb for a tooth. Forgiveness was still allowed (1225).
Christians are called to be salt and light. There is supposed to be a difference between a Christian and a non-Christian. In Romans 12:1 we are encouraged to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service. The chapter ends with the words, in verse 21, ďBe not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.Ē You see if we try to use evil to fight evil then we will lose. We are overcome by evil when we try to fight fire with fire. Any time we fight using evil we fall into sin. Sin always causes damage. We hurt ourselves when we try to avenge our enemies using evil. God says vengeance is His (Deuteronomy 32:35). We only overcome evil with good. When we feel tempted to lose control we need to stop and pray for God to give us His strength so that we do not fall to the temptation to lose our Christianity!
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Nice article! Good counsel for this New Year.