Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. -1 Peter 3:9 (NLT)

“Well, I did X because you did Y!”

Ever said that to someone? What you may think you’re communicating is that you were forced into doing X. But what it really says is that you choose not to take responsibility for controlling your own responses.

In truth, when we react by doing X, we choose what X will be, regardless of how crazy or hateful Y was toward us (or how we perceived it).

In truth, we can always choose God’s grace to flow through us to be X, though we have to let go of pride or indignation. By doing that, we honor God by taking ourselves out of the equation…not escalating, not fueling the fire, and not putting ourselves over the choice of His grace.

Did Jesus lay waste to all who did Him wrong? He could’ve, with a word, vanquished all his opposition. He could’ve, in a heartbeat, summoned angels to do justice to His enemies. But no. Jesus showed grace.

You may say that you’re not Jesus. No, you’re not. Nor am I. But Jesus is the model after whom we model our lives, after whom we strive to please. He is our Lord and Savior.

We are not puppets yanked around by the actions of others. We are servants of Christ, His loving hands and feet on this earth…walking missionaries and ministers of His love. The next time someone does Y to you, stop and breathe, surrender your flesh urges up to God in prayer, then give them X: God’s grace.