You have heard it said, “don’t’ get mad, get even.” The Bible says to see to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone (1 Thessalonians 5:15). This is a call to deal with those who hurt others. Yet, as you call out wrongdoing in others, be careful that you do no wrong.

Returning wrong for wrong will only make you a wrongdoer as well. As Christians, we are called to demonstrate the same remarkable love and patience that God himself has toward wrongdoers.

Nineteenth-century evangelist D.L. Moody once told a story of a man who beat his dog at the zoo. The man had boasted about how obedient his dog was and he made a bet with another man that he could get his dog to do a special trick. The dog refused to do the trick and the bet was lost. The owner became angry and beat the dog mercilessly. Then the man picked up the wounded dog up and threw him into the lion’s cage.

The poor whimpering, beaten dog, stood shaking on his legs in the presence of the great lion. The lion approached the dog and sniffed him. As the lion licked the little dog’s wounds, the dog laid down. Then, to everyone’s amazement, the lion laid down with the shivering dog as if to comfort him.

The dog’s owner began to feel ashamed and sorry for what he had done. He demanded the zookeeper let him have his dog back. The zookeeper said, “Fine, you can have you dog back. But you’re going to have to go in there and get him yourself.”

The Bible says Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. That means we had better be careful how we treat one another; otherwise, we may find ourselves contending against the Lord himself. So the next time someone doesn’t behave like you think they should, remember to treat them as one for whom Christ died. Don’t return wrong for wrong. Instead, seek after that which is good. Your Christ-like actions will set a good example for others to follow.

Killingsworth is senior pastor at College Avenue Baptist Church, Normal. Contact him at cabc_clark@yahoo.com.

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