Control Yourself

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.”
Romans 12:17

I have oftentimes stated the expression, “God doesn’t hold me accountable for what others do to me; however, He holds me accountable how I respond to them.” When we come to the place of knowing where we are in terms of our spiritual maturity, a good indication is how we respond to those who have wronged us. If we examine ourselves thoroughly, whenever we are maligned, and understand that the only one we can control is ourselves. None of us has the ability to control anyone else. The difficult reaction is exercising temperance, the fruit of the Spirit which gives us the ability to be self-controlled. We do have the ability to respond to others by not repaying evil for evil.

It is needful to remember that the believer is born from above. We are “new creatures in Christ: old things are passed away…” We must understand when we resist repaying evil to our offender; we are literally proclaiming the excellencies of the Lord who in His sovereignty chose us to be a light to the world. When we retaliate, we cover up our light, and that hurts our ability to share the truth with those who are either weak Christians or those who are lost. Our lack of control is really harms us, and I can assure each of us the Lord is not pleased.

I have found that many will use their humanity as an excuse for not being in control. They will say, “I’m only human,” as though that is justification for getting back at someone. When we use excuses of our human nature in making our response justifiable, we have totally missed the mark. How can we who say we are born again from above; indwelled by the Holy Spirit give way to the flesh and do that which is completely out of order.

I know it can be difficult to resist the urge to fight back against the perpetrator who harmed us; but the Lord did not expect us to do it alone. In order to get to that place, we must ask ourselves, Are we striving to get closer to our Savior everyday? Are we continuing in prayer and study of His Word, seeking to apply it to our lives? Are we regularly attending the teaching ministries of our church? Are we faithfully and consistently worshiping our Heavenly Father? If the answer is no, not consistently, then we will not be able to resist retaliating against those who do evil to us.

I strongly urge all who are reading this post to rededicate his or herself to putting forth the effort to get serious about their relationship with Jesus Christ, and stop making excuses as to why you cannot do what is right when it comes to not “repaying evil for evil.” We must not allow our witness for Christ to be tarnished, and lose our influence to draw others to Christ. Furthermore, we must learn to let God repay those who do us wrong. God does not want us taking matters into our own hands and fighting back. We also have to remember, when He deals with the situation, it has been completely dealt with. Let us grow to the place where we can control our actions.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor James Moore, Jr.