Bulletin Article
May 20, 2001

Vengeance is whose?

By: Doug Long

Have you ever been in a situation that just demanded justice? Several of us were recently involved in conversation with a Turkish immigrant who was still getting used to the freedoms afforded us in the United States. He told us a story about how his wife got in a minor traffic accident with her vehicle. Both drivers agreed while on the scene that she was not at fault. Eight days later the other driver had a change of heart and decided to fabricate some details about the accident so that the immigrant couple would have to pay for both vehicles to be repaired. Needless to say, my friend was enraged. He talked about suing the other driver to see that justice was done. I think he wanted to punch the other driver in the nose. Others involved in the conversation advised that he let the insurance investigate the accident, figuring that the truth would come out. But he was still upset. Then an old lady told a story, and this story finally gave the man peace. It occurred in China. As the Chinese do, they seized a factory where a bunch of people worked. They wanted to claim it for the state. They didn't have any real charges to bring, but that didn't matter, they were making up charges up as they went. They frightened some people so much that they accused one of their fellow workers of the crimes, and were witnesses at his trial. The man got 30 years in prison. Several years later another prisoner asked the man a question. He said "I deserve to be here, but you are innocent, how can your soul be at peace when people lied about you and got you confined here?" He answered, "it is better to be the one lied about than the one who lied." This man forgave those who lied about him, and he left it in God's hands. Three scriptures come to mind when I think about this,

Matthew 5:38-40
38 "You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

Hebrews 10:30-31
30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people."
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Romans 12:18-20
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
20 Therefore
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."