4th August 2012

The Only Sensible Response – Don’t Retaliate

“Repay no one evil for evil.”
Romans 12:17 (NKJV)

Have you ever noticed how defensive we are of our position, our self-esteem, our views and our opinions.  When they are attacked or criticised we tend to hit back.  Sometimes these attacks are motivated by a desire to hurt and when we hit back that is also designed to hurt.  Both of these events are evil in nature and find their source not in God but in the Devil.

It is a rare person who readily accepts criticism.  Indeed this is a quality of character that really sets one apart as mature and truly big, secure and at the same time humble.

But you know criticism provides a wonderful opportunity to consider ourselves and improve.  Now I know some criticism is not accurate and this should be ignored but let’s not miss the chance to see ourselves as others see us.

There is an interesting example of how to deal with criticism in 2 Samuel 16 in the Old Testament.  King David was being severely criticised by a man named Shimei.  David’s general offered to take off the man’s head!  David, however, said that he could learn from what Shimei was saying.  Now Shimei was behaving disgracefully and disrespectfully toward his king for which he would ultimately pay with the loss of his life.  But David was willing to hear what he had to say.  David did not want to pass up the opportunity to learn something about himself that he didn’t see but that others did.

Whenever anyone does evil towards us, it gives us an opportunity to grow in our Christian life; to behave like Jesus did, “who when he was reviled, reviled not again.” (1Peter 2:23)

Father in heaven, thank you for the example of your Son, Jesus.  Help me to strive to follow that example even in the face of harsh criticism that is meant to hurt.  To seek something valuable for me in the criticism and not to desire to repay evil with evil.

Study by David Stirk

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