1 Thessalonians 5:15
See that no no pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
Today is our 5th day learning about the Encouragers Checklist. So far, we have learned 7 ways to encourage someone.
Build Each Other Up
Honor/Respect Spiritual Leaders
Live in Peace
Warn the Lazy
Encourage the Timid
Help the Weak
Today, we get to talk about a really juicy one. Resist Revenge.
Oh, poo-- you say. But Revenge is sweet.
Well, probably not so much-- and we will see why.
While "an eye for an eye" was the norm in the Old Testament-- "Turn the other cheek" was what the New Testament taught us.
What happens when you repay evil with evil.... Well... It makes you do Evil.
There is no such thing as a "Good Evil". It is either evil or not. Lie to a co-worker because she lied to you--- well, you are just as guilty at she is because you both told lies.
Revenge not only hurts our souls and makes us sin, but it hurts our testimony. People will always remember the bad. You will never be perfect, but if someone sees you going after revenge-- they will automatically think, "I thought she was a Christian."
So, what in the world does this have to do with encouraging someone?
If someone does evil against you, don't waste your time plotting revenge. That takes you away from God's work and also hurts you more than it helps you. If you are like me, your conscious is strong (too strong at times) and if I hurt someone (even someone who deserves it), I feel bad.
Taking the high road does NOT mean that you are letting them walk all over you. It means that you will not stoop down to their level and let them take you away from your time with God.
IF someone has done you wrong, how can you encourage them?
*Pray for them. This is the best thing you can do about any situation. It not only works, but it allows your focus to be where it is meant to be-- on God.
*Do something small for them. Sometimes if you are nice to people who are mean to you, the shear shock of it will take them off balance.
*Don't gossip about them. It is so easy to bad talk someone-- especially when we don't like them, but that is one of the worst things we can do. We are supposed to build others up, not knock them down. I guess this goes back to the whole "If it's not good, don't say it." mentality.
The last part of this verse is important, especially in this day and time. Do good to each other and to all people.
It didn't say be good to everyone-- as long as they believed like you.
It didn't say be good to everyone-- as long as they behaved like you.
It said be GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE.
DO we have to like what they are doing? ABSOLUTELY NOT! BUT, we do have to encourage them, love them-- not hate them. Remember, it is not our job to judge-- and you catch more flies with honey than with a flyswatter (or something like that).
To sum up, revenge sometimes would be so sweet (and disliking a certain group is so easy), but it isn't what people who want to encourage should do. We should lift each other up, be a light in their life. If we don't like what someone does, that is EXACTLY the people we need to pray for.
Tomorrow will be verse 16.
God Bless You :)