Redemption and Revenge

With a thought like “redemption not revenge” a person might start to wonder if Star of Bethlehem is a passive resistance church!  Not exactly, but let’s unpack that thought by throwing a few scenarios at you.

#1 a classmate verbally attacks you and says that your pants are too short and you look like a nerd.  That isn’t very nice.  If you listen to the children’s message from this morning, you can hear little Liam defend himself.  That’s good!  All of the children correctly answers that God doesn’t want us to strike back at the person who insulted us.  It might feel good in that moment, but it doesn’t really help.

#2 you are physically attacked while jogging in the morning.  Here God gives you the license to defend yourself.  You are not an emotional, physical, or spiritual punching bag.  Your life matters and is valuable.  You should not let someone harm you.  Fight back using all of the techniques available to you.

#3 God wants me to forgive and forget, right?  So I need to blindly let people who have wronged me back into my life.  Wrong.  No where does God ever say that you should forget.  You can’t forget!  God hasn’t wired us that way.  That’s a good thing.  When a child burns his hand on a hot stove, he quickly learns not to do that again.  When we are hurt by someone, we shouldn’t set ourselves up for harm over and over again.  When we are wronged, trust is broken.  Sometimes trust can be rebuild; sometimes it can’t.  Forgiving simply means that we release the person from the punishment.  God has forgiven us so we can freely forgive too.  Revenge in our hands can quickly turn into a mess!  God call on us to offer redemption not revenge.

Want to hear more?  Please check out this week’s sermon taken from Genesis 45: Redemption not Revenge.

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