Our Daily Journey with God
January 22, 2020

Dear Friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. [Romans 12:14-21]

Working in a ministry as I do, I have critics. Much of that criticism is justified. And some is not.

It's most difficult to deal with people who hurl attacks in the name of Jesus. They slander those who dare to differ ever so slightly from their tightly held viewpoints. They rail against people who pose honest questions about God and injustice.

"You'll receive your greatest opposition to your kingdom work from other Christians," says university president Rex Rogers. I'm learning he's right. I could understand animosity from an atheist. But hatred, venom, and ungrace from people who sign their e-mails "in Christ's love"?! Those folks make me cringe.

If you're human, you know how it feels to be unfairly maligned. You've got good company- Jesus Himself! It was religious leaders- upstanding pillars of the community- who conspired to have Him crucified. When faced with the One Perfect Person, they opposed Him, conspired against Him, and mocked Him as He willingly went to His death. even the soldiers who were crucifying Him got caught up in the mockery. And the, in the midst of humanity's worst crime, Jesus proclaimed: "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing" [Luke 23:34]

"Never pay back evil with more evil," Paul instructed us. "Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone" [Romans 12:17-18]. "Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God [v.9]

As an old saint put it, "Lord, free me from the need to vindicate myself." Amen, sister. Amen.

-Tim Gustafson

The next time you're object of criticism, how will you respond? How does Jesus example inspire and challenge you?