Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord.
On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
God’s wrath verses Your wrath!
Often times when you are going thru a struggle believing for your spouse you are so totally and completely frustrated you don’t know what to do. The only thing you can do often times is use your words to manipulate them back to God or make them change. I did this, Oh how I did it. You feel completely justified in doing it too. If people were inside your house watching they would say, “You go girl!” I believe this is very wrong. Not only is it wrong, it gets in the way of God’s working power in your relationship and family. The Bible says leave room for my wrath. This means if there was a pot for God’s wrath but you filled it up with your wrath then there’s no room for His wrath. You just got in His way! God’s wrath builds up and restores our wrath tears down and destroys.
You must get out of God’s way. How that looks for you I do not know. I can’t tell you but God can. I can encourage you to not use your words to manipulate someone back to God. Don’t do that. God does not need you to do this. His Word says His kindness leads us to repentance.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Least of these
I always thought the ‘least of these’ was some dirty poor neighbor kid down the street. In actuality it is sometimes you, sometimes your the ‘least of these’, sometimes its your spouse, your in laws, the people that are the closest to you that can hurt you the very deepest.
I remember one time when we were separated Darin came home early Sunday morning to pick up Macy Mae. She was just a tiny baby. He drove all the way from Portland 1 1/2 hours to get her and bring her back to Portland to spend the whole day with her. The Lord spoke to me at church that morning to call Darin and tell him I would meet him half way to pick her up. He did not have to drive all the way back to Tillamook to bring her home. So I did it. I drove half way and picked her up. God gave me a good dose of morphine (grace) that day! The Lord kept reminding me of this important truth. Don’t be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.
I am not saying that Darin was evil. But, evil had just parked in our driveway and was doing everything it could to destroy our marriage and family. Once I got the proper perspective on this, the eternal perspective, overcoming evil with good became less painful. I looked crazy but I knew I was doing what God’s Word said. Darin would say, “Do you know how crazy you look?” I would say in my heart, Noah looked crazy when he built the ark, Queen Esther looked crazy when she boldly walked into the Kings palace, David looked completely crazy when he went after Goliath! The Bible is full of crazy people. I wanted to live my life as, if the Bible was written in our day, I would be in it. So that is what I did and how I, by God’s grace, lived in those very dark days.