Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:17-18 (NIV)
If we have suffered injustice and hurt, our instinct is to retaliate. But if we do, we quickly discover that there is a price to pay: harbouring an unforgiving and bitter spirit, causing us to take the poison we really wish our offender would take.
These are demanding hurdles to leap over…anyone, everyone, do what is right, live at peace. Paul does add the provisos if it is possible, as far as it depends on you. But even so, it’s up to us, the offended, to take the initiative in showing mercy.
Jesus made it crystal clear in the prayer He taught His disciples, and us: …forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Having been shown such amazing mercy, being forgiven, how can we not heed the demand not to repay evil for evil, and show mercy to everyone? In the words of the hymn: Our sins they are many, His mercy is more!
This is the fourth in the “Extend Mercy to Others” series of blog posts and is submitted by our close friend, David Cohen, who is the Co-Founder and Public Officer of Moringa Associates in Australia.