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Real lasting justice



'"It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.' Romans 12:19 NIV

This is what God calls us to do when someone causes us pain: 'Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to...God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord. Instead..."If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads." Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good' (Romans 12:17-21 NLT).

The Bible says: 'Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ' (Ephesians 4:31-32 NCV).

Revenge is not God's way; forgiveness is. Forgiving someone doesn't mean they avoid justice; it means we're trusting God to deal out justice. And he never gives up on a person. Even after we've moved on, God's still there pricking the person's conscience, stirring conviction in their heart, and orchestrating redemption and change in their life. So let's try and be people who forgive those who have hurt us, and leave the justice to God.

So what now? Ask God to help you forgive the people who have hurt you. Ask him to be at work in their lives.

Soulfood: Job 21-23, Matt 25:14-30, Ps 38:1-12, Pro 8:22-23

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