Monday, July 6, 2015

Roman 12:19 -- On Leaving Room for God

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
Roman 12:19

"Give place to wrath" is an exhortation to leave room for justice to work itself out, and not take it into our own hands.  Kind of like letting people into line in front of us.  Choosing to give space for something more important than our wrath.  Like many commandments, this definitely isn't easy.  When we're angry about something, the hardest thing to do is calm ourselves down and let it go.  We get ourselves worked up and instead we want to vent that anger, preferably at the cause, but really any bystander will do.  It is even harder if we feel cheated or wronged and justice seems to be on our side.  There are several problems with acting out our angry fantasies though.  We could go to jail, we could ruin relationships, we could hurt bystanders (even if their only offense is answering the telephone), we are really harming ourselves by holding on to anger, and also... God says not to. :)
There is also another reason that we don't usually think about, but it is that these rules always have two sides.  When was the last time that we made someone else angry, whether intentionally or not?  If we don't want that person to have vengeance on us, we might want to give other people that same benefit: the same space for change and repentance that we prefer for ourselves.
Today, let's work on letting go of our anger and plans for revenge.  Let's find ways to calm ourselves down and get peace back into our lives.  This will not only be helpful in lowering our blood pressure and allowing us access to the spirit, but it will also put vengeance where it belongs: in God's hands.  He knows better than we do how justice and mercy need to balance in all of our individual lives, and he will make everything right.  Let's leave room in our lives for God to make those choices, and not try to handle it ourselves.

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