Sunday, September 11, 2022

It's Not Your Job (Proverbs 20:22)


Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you [Proverbs 20:22, ESV]

I remember a time in my life when I felt like I had been betrayed. I looked at certain things that had been done to me, and I felt like I had been treated unfairly. As I continued to read my Bible, I learned more and more about how Jesus tells us to forgive others, how to overlook offenses, how “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God”, and how we should trust that the Lord will repay those who harm us.

When I read Proverbs 20:22, the first thing that comes to mind is the phrase, “It is not your job.”

When I was very young, I would get into trouble for trying to discipline my younger sisters. I would see my sisters doing something that I knew they should not be doing and I would try and enforce the rules that my parents had established for our home. If I would be punished for doing something, why should my sisters be able to get away with doing it? While my thinking was correct, I had forgotten my place. Thankfully, I had my parents to remind me:

“That is not your job, Daniel.”

Just as it was not my job to punish my sisters for breaking the rules, it is not my job to punish others for what they do to me, nor is it my job to punish others for what they do to others. I can be totally justified in being upset, I can be correct in my understanding of right and wrong, but that does not give me the authority to punish others.

The Bible tells us to forgive, to overlook offenses, to love one another, to love our enemies, and to love the Lord our God. We are not commanded to repay people for the evil things that they do. When we witness evil in the world, it can be very discouraging to us. How can somebody do that and get away with it? Well, they will not get away with it.

God loves us, God has mercy on us, but God is just. If somebody does something worthy of punishment, we can step back and have peace. God will handle it, and He will do it perfectly. Our judgement is flawed, as we are flawed beings. God is perfect, His judgement is perfect, and we can trust Him to do the right thing, to the right person, at the right time.

Do not seek to repay others for what they have done. Seek the Lord, keep His commandments, and have peace in the knowledge that God will do what is right.

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