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BITTERNESS AND VENGEANCE-



       A lot of people have a lot to say about how they've been mistreated, or misjudged, or unjustly treated in some way or other. There's a little tract which begins in this way: “A small boy prayed, 'Lord, make all the bad people good, and then Lord, make all the good people nice.'“ Well, unfortunately, many good Christian people aren't nice.


       A lady advertised for a young woman to be her traveling companion, and she closed the advertisement thus: “Christian wanted-cheerful, if possible.” Evidently this woman had found that some Christian souls lacked a cheerful disposition. Well, sometimes we have to live with people like that, and that seems to be the problem expressed in many. Resentment building up in the heart, almost hatred. Some people have a judging spirit towards the one who's mistreating them, be it their husband, wife, in-laws, relatives, co-workers, or friends.


       In Matthew 7:1, it says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Let's be careful about that, for verse 2 says, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” That should make us a little more thoughtful about the way we criticize others, for what you give will be exactly what you receive.


       Toward that person whom you feel is so unjust to you, don't take their judgment into your own hands. Better to be a little hesitant about the judging, better to have mercy on that person, for the Word states in

James 2:12,13b,

“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy.”

-It's better to judge by the Law of Love, God's law.


       The next verse is even more sobering, Romans 2:1-4, which says,

“Therefore, thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man who judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”


       It's an awful thing to bear a grudge, or a critical spirit, or hatred of another. If you are a professing Christian, it is far better to forgive and forget that injustice that has been done against you, than to have that condemnation of God upon you. And these verses make it very plain just what the reaping's going to be.


       Don't take vengeance into your own hands. Don't hit back. Don't let bitterness creep into your heart. Nothing will so ruin your disposition as to let bitterness get in the heart. God's Word says,

Hebrews.12:15.

“Beware lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”

God will take care of that person in due time, if you leave the whole matter in His hands.


       “To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time.”-Deut.32:35.

Better to pity and love that one, for pity they will need when they fall into the hands of an angry God, Who says,

“Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”-Rom.12:19.


       Perhaps you feel that you have to do something about the wrong that's been done to you and the slandering you've suffered and the cruel words that have been flung at you. You think God's too slow, and you're going to have to take it in your own hands and hurt them as they've hurt you, bring vengeance on them.


       But in so doing, you'll only hurt yourself and disobey God, and get out of His will and have a broken fellowship, and that's going to make things a whole lot worse. The Lord knows all about it, and He speaks with finality regarding your forgiving that person, no matter how unfair it's all been.


       He says, “But if ye forgive not men their t respasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”-Mat.6:15.

And Matthew 18:35 says, “So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”


       But you can't do it yourself, beloved. It's not in the natural. It has to be the Spirit of Christ working in and through you. “I can of my own self do nothing.” Lay the whole problem at Jesus' feet, tell Him about it, and then positively commit it to Him and leave it wi th Him. Then He'll begin to work. This isn't what you feel like doing, but this is what the world needs to see: God's love manifested through His born-again children.


       This is a true test of discipleship, as Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”-Jn.13:35.

It's God's love working through you as you yield it all to Him. It'll be a miracle if you can love that person, a miracle of God's grace, with which He'll supply you.


       This is the Law of Love. He waits to help you; He wants to. When you ask Him for His help, there will be no veil nor cloud between you and Him, and He can work out through you the full purpose of His will and plan for your life, because it's utterly surrendered to Him with all of its problems and things which harass you. God knows about it and He cares and He loves you.


       Perhaps this isn't entirely applicable, but a little girl left a note on a tree. She had been abused in an orphan's home, nobody liked her and she was just impossible. So they went out to see what the note said which she'd left, because it was against the rules of the Home. And this is what it said: “To anybody who finds this note, I love you.” Oh, that's the spirit to have, to love everybody as God loves you.

       The love of God is greater far
       Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
       It goes beyond the highest star
       And reaches to the lowest hell.
       The guilty pair, brought down with care,
       God gave His Son to win.
       His erring ch ild He reconciled
       And saved us from our sin.
       O love of God, how rich and pure,
       How measureless and strong.
       It shall forever more endure,
       The saints' and angels' song.

 

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