It is a spiteful society in which we live. It is common to hear someone say, “Don’t get even, get ahead.” It may have been merely a naïve perception of days gone by where kindness and the genteel spirit ruled, but even the façade of such pretense in politeness no longer exists in our current culture. Today, we look out for number one with a vengeance. What an awesome opportunity for the Christian to distinguish him- or herself.
The wise man stated: “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil’; Wait for the Lord, and He will save you” (Proverbs 20:22). The payback-mentality is not a godly attitude; it never has been. We set ourselves apart as children of God by the counter-culture of kindness we infuse into our friends. We do not snip back at a supposed insult because “a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). We do not exact justice individually or arbitrarily because “the discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11). There has never been justification for “one-upmanship” in those who would be godly since “the fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).
The burly football-player, not satisfied to have made an outstanding tackle, stood over his felled opponent, posturing and mouthing. On the next play, a cross-block took him out at the knees. He was carted off the field on a gurney; his career was over. One might wondered, “What is he saying now?” How sad, “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’” (Hebrews 10:30).