Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pray for Those Who Abuse You

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18 ESV)

Wow, what a verse! I don't know about you, but when I read this, all the relationships in my life go screaming through my mind. "Perfect love casts out fear." Are there bonds that cause me "fear"? "Whoever fears has not been perfected in love." What does that mean? Should I not "fear" wickedness?

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:12-17 ESV)

Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:4-6 ESV)

Or, should I "fear" God more than the evil in man? I figure, I am accountable for me. I can only "control" me. Though faced with those who may sin against me, I MUST not sin in return! As my dad says, "Two wrongs never make 'a right'." I may NEVER return evil for evil.

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For whoever desires to love life and see good days,let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good;let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (1 Peter 3:9-12 ESV)

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 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." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-19, 21 ESV)

"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. (Luke 6:27, 28, 30 ESV)

What?! That irks me when someone takes my stuff! It is mine to give not someone else's to take, right?! What about what is good, and right, and just? I would gladly hand it over if asked!

"Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." (Romans 12:19 ESV)
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