Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 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. -Romans 12:14,19 (NIV)
Oh, the temptation to “right” someone else when you feel wronged! It can dominate you in the blink of an eye…if you let it.
“I can’t let that slide!” you think. And in the heat of the moment, you know you’re right. And you know the other person needs to be put in their place.
But before you reactively respond to someone else’s words or actions, stop and remember who you’re representing. You are God’s hands and feet. You are His ambassador. And He is present and affected as you choose your actions and words.
Fire, meet water
Escalation of a situation often happens when contributors keep adding fuel to the fire. So instead of throwing kindling on the fire, soothe and counter it with water. And try as it may, fire cannot set water aflame!
The verse above is part of larger exhortation from Paul to the Romans at the end of the twelfth chapter, which goes on to say:
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. -Romans 12:20-21 (NIV)
It’s your choice
So, the next time you’re thrown a jab or a barb…the next time someone cuts you off in traffic…the next time your name is trampled in front of others…choose to not fan the flame. Choose to be the serene river where the fire must meet and retreat.
Be water, my friend…cool, refreshing, and replenishing. God has plenty more to flow down to you…so much, you’ll be overflowing. You’d be surprised how quickly the heat will dissipate without you adding to it!