Key verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:15
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
The religions, particularly Judaism teaches an eye for an eye thereby encouraging vengeance. This must be what the likes of Elijah, Elisha and even Peter relied upon for their destructive deeds which some hinge upon today to behave as agents of destruction. Calling down fire to devour two battalions of innocent soldiers carrying out a lawful order; cursing and devouring little children for an abuse; and evoking the fire of God to strike dead a couple for telling a lie, is evil. It is all borne out of destruction which is the ministry of the devil. Christ came to save and not to destroy lives. Did God approve their deeds? Not quite. We will be right to say He winked at it. That is why, it became difficult for Elisha to call down fire on the Syrian army that came for him as the Lord must have schooled him against destructive tendencies. Peter too, after having been taught not to call anything God created common and unclean refrained from invoking fire to devour his captors that placed him in prison.
It is therefore not right for anyone who aspires to be Christ-like to avenge himself or afflict anyone with evil. Even if the enemy hauls evil and destruction at us, we are to respond with goodness and kindness. If we respond with evil, then are we not different from the agents of darkness whom we claim are assailing us. Whatsoever we do or say that is not in love is not in God and therefore does not have His approval for God is Love. Moses was a prophet of God and leader of the people too. Whenever God said He wanted to move against the people he led, Moses interceded on their behalf. Like Moses, we ought to pray for them that despitefully use or hurt us also. When we pray that those we assume are our enemies should die, we may be sentencing our kins or anyone of them to death prematurely. The fact remains that if only we offer everyone goodness, we are not likely to hurt anyone not to talk of our kins.
Rendering good for evil may be a hard task but the power to do good is available to every Believer. What we serve others we will get in return. Operate in Christ’s ministry.
Pray: Father, do help me to resist every temptation to render evil for evil in Jesus name.