Give As You Have Received
Oct 26, 2015 823
Romans 12:17 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.”
Getting revenge is the way of the world.
I was returning to Mount Hagen from Lae, in Papua New Guinea, with a native missionary from Mount Hagen in the back seat of our Land Rover when we came to a bridge with some logs blocking its entrance. Standing guard were six Mendi warriors with their battle axes at the ready. A Mt Hagen man had killed a Mendi man and these warriors were waiting for a Mt. Hagen man to come along so they could kill him as a pay-back. Our passenger turned white. We got him to lie on the floor and covered him with a blanket while I got out of the vehicle and advanced to the warriors with a big smile and an outstretched hand, asking with a laugh, “Olsem wanem?” (What’s the problem)?” They replied, a bit sheepishly, “Em nating, Masta. Yu ken go (It’s nothing, Master, you can go).” And they pulled aside the logs to let us through.
You and I are sinners, deserving death for our sins. But while death is “the wages of sin, the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
We deserve to die but Jesus took our place and died in our stead. He doesn’t require us to pay for our sins because he has already paid the full penalty for each of us.
If you believe that Jesus died for every sinner (Rom.5:6), you will demonstrate that in your attitude to others by readily forgiving them for wrongs they have done to you. You can only give what you have, and if you can’t give forgiveness to another, it is because you have not received it yourself (Matt. 6:14-15). If you have not received forgiveness, then you have nothing to give.
However, if you are a devoted follower of the Lord Jesus it is because he has forgiven your sins. And if you are his devoted follower, you will walk in his footsteps by never repaying evil for evil. Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us (John 3:17). Likewise, it is not your mission to condemn others but to save them.