#240 – Vengeance

Good morning people who love and forgive others

Stephen was a man who was being stoned to death because of his belief in and testimony concerning God. As he draws his last breath, his focus is on God not holding this sin against his murderers.

Acts 7:59-60 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Sometimes this is so different to the response of many Christians today, myself included. Where there is major injustice, many times I simply want the perpetrators to get their just desserts. There’s something in me that says, “They did the crime, they should do the time.”

Is this the way God would have us respond? I’m not sure it is. The natural desire is justice, vengeance and punishment. I wonder if God’s way, like Stephen’s words in Acts 7, is much more about grace, mercy and forgiveness.

“Lord I need your help here. I hear of terrible things like the recent bushfires in Victoria, Australia and I just want justice. When I hear that many of the fires were purposefully lit I want maximum punishment. I struggle to feel your heart for these lost souls. Help me Lord to see through your eyes; to see through the eyes of grace and restoration. Teach me Lord.”

Further reading: Romans 12:17-21, Matthew 5:38-48