We watched a very interesting movie last night that succeeded in moving me to think long and hard about not only the subject of the movie, but life in general. The movie was called “The Conspirator” and revolved entirely around the trial in 1865 of a woman whose boarding house was used as a meeting place for those involved in the conspiracy to kill President Lincoln, the vice president and Secretary of State. It is a very compelling movie.
Starting with Abel and continuing unto the present, people have been wrongly charged and convicted of things they even unto death. Of course our Savior Jesus Christ is the greatest example of this but there have been countless others who had to lay down their lives in sacrifice or were unjustly accused of things they never did.
History is littered with examples of righteous people being portrayed as villains or charged with being ringleaders of insurrection or rebellion. Countless people have given their lives defending their families or nations from those intent on taking them over. Countess people have endured affliction and torture because they refused to compromise their beliefs or “rat out” someone they loved or served.
Various writers in the New Testament make it very clear that the righteous should expect to be persecuted. Never once are believers urged to physically fight those who despitefully use them. In fact, Jesus said to PRAY for those who seek to ruin our lives or even take them.
We have all been wronged in this life. Some of us have been wronged many times and in ways that made life very difficult. Nowhere in the New Testament are there any instructions to hunt down those who wrong us to hurt or kill them. Please look at Romans 12:17-21:
“Recompense no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,saith the Lord.”
20 Therefore: “If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. For in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”
Those people “overcome by evil” cannot overcome evil with good. Those people intent on giving place unto wrath, are incapable of manifesting the love and forgiveness that represent the cornerstone of the love of Christ.
Those who spend a lifetime seeking revenge for a wrong committed to them or their loved ones are doomed to lifetime of turmoil, uncontrollable anger and dangerous acts of violence. In the name of “closure”, people turn into vigilantes whose only aim is to make someone pay for the perceived evil they did. Let us vow to overcome evil with good instead of being overcome with evil.