Have you ever noticed that sometimes the sin of others become our sin? It generally happens so slowly that we aren’t even aware of it. For example– when someone ignores, neglects, or abuses you in some way you tend to respond in kind. While it’s easy to be nice to those who are nice to you, it’s a whole different ball-game when it comes to those who snub you. They don’t speak and so you don’t either. They say something hurtful, so you hurl an insult back at them. They forget your birthday, so you don’t waste a stamp sending them a card. Whether you realize it or not you are living by the code of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.
Sadly this kind of stuff goes on all the time. Some how we feel justified in treating others as, or worse than, they treat us. Thus, their sin becomes our sin. We do just the opposite of what Christ does to us and demands from us (Matt. 5:43-44). We condone in ourselves what we condemn in others–as though we are better than them.
This is a very real danger that we face. Regardless of how hard we try there will always be those who mistreat us, and it’s difficult to resist the temptation to return evil for evil. If we would simply remember that we will reap what we sow it will help us to be more careful. If we would remember these three things it help us avoid falling into this trap. Returning evil for evil is–
— disobedience to Christ and affects our fellowship with Him.
— destructive to our testimony and relationship with others.
— detrimental to our well-being–we make ourselves miserable.
If you don’t see danger in all of this something is seriously wrong with your outlook on life. Sin always has consequences. Although we might be forgiven, sin often does things that can’t be undone.
We need the attitude of Joseph when he said to his wicked brothers, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good,…“(Gen. 50:20). If we respond as we should God will make something good out of the bad. Naturally, as you should know, this is not something we can do on our own. Loving our enemies is more than the arm of flesh can accomplish. But, through Christ we can do all things (Phil. 4:13). The Spirit of God enables us to do anything the Word of God commands us to do.