Year in Review - July. 26, 2018

2 Timothy 4:14

“Alexander the metalworker has done me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.”

When you consider what the Apostle Paul has written, I’m sure we’ve all know an “Alexander” in our lifetimes. We can relate to having been wronged unjustly by another person. We know the anger, the outrage that comes and the desire to retaliate and seek revenge against the one who offended us. But the question is not do we identify with Paul in his offense, but rather do we identify with Paul in his faith? When offended, do we leave God out of the equation and take matters into our own hands, or do we commit the matter to prayer and leave room for God to act as he chooses on our behalf?

When Paul confesses that “the Lord will repay…” he testifies rightly to the character of God. Paul testifies that the Lord knows and cares about the harm done to him. But not only that, Paul testifies to the certainty that a just God will not allow wrongdoing to go unpunished and that the Lord will fight his battles and deal justly with the one who has offended him. Paul does not take matters into his own hand, he hands a sensitive matter concerning him over to the Lord. Like the example given us by Christ, Paul “entrusts himself” — offense, offender and all “to the one who judges justly.” Paul is so sure that the Lord will deal rightly with the injustice, that his focus is more on God’s faithfulness than on the offense itself. Many times when we are offended, we try to play the role of victim, judge, and jury, when what the Lord really requires from us in times of offense is that we show ourselves to be his children and trust him.

How you handle offense says much more about what you believe about the character of God, than how you behave when things are going well for you. If you do not trust the Lord to fight your battles, you will feel the need to fight for yourself and in so doing you may find yourself fighting against God in the end. Consider what the Lord says in Romans, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath,” for it is written “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. When we seek revenge, refusing to commit our injustices to God, we take for ourselves what the Lord says belongs to Him. When we go after what belongs to Him, we act more like the enemy than God’s children. Let us commit our lives, offenses and all, to God thus showing ourselves to be his children. If Alexander the metalworker has done you harm, stop your plan for revenge. Commit the matter to prayer, and trust the Lord to repay.

Editor’s note: The Chaplain’s Corner covers everything faith related. Facts not attributed are purely the opinion of the writer.