We live in a broken world where there is little grace, mercy, compassion, or love… including the church. So it is refreshing when a congregation gets it right (Previous Post). Sadly, what The Village Church did is the exception rather than the rule. The fallout is wide and deep for all involved. It is most difficult when a person is bowled over and assaulted from many sides without support or wise counsel from others. Then, after the storm is over, most people go back to their mundane normal life. Some don’t (Usually those who were wounded)… and they have to deal with the pain for a long time.
Truth is, deep wounds are slow to heal. Very slow. Since the hurt is deep, our desire for things to be made right (Justice) can spill over into revenge because there is something in us that wants others to pay for how they have hurt us. When justice doesn’t happen quick enough for us, there is the danger of slipping into revenge mode. We subtly or actively cause pain in others thinking somehow it will make us feel better (Spoiler alert… it doesn’t happen).
Problem 1. We cannot do justice justly.
Problem 2. Our “justice” is usually designed to hurt rather than help the other person. This means that our “justice” is not motivated by love.
Problem 3. Because of 1 and 2 above, our “justice” ends up being revenge.
Problem 4. Revenge is not allowed to be carried out by God’s people. Thus it is written in Romans 12:19…
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Leaving revenge and justice in God’s hands is best. He will do it… and do it justly. When you are wounded, wronged, or hurt… take it to God. Submitting to Him all the things to be made right frees you to love the person who wounded you. You are able to turn the other cheek. You are able to pray FOR them. You are able to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel regardless of what has happened (Phil 1:27).