Read: Romans 12:19-20(a)
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
“Response is what matters.” – Elisabeth Elliot
For those of you who are not familiar with Elisabeth Elliot, she and her husband Jim were missionaries to the Auca Indians of Ecuador in the 1950’s. After Jim and four other men made contact with the tribe, the men were speared to death.
How did Elisabeth respond? According to her biography, instead of returning to the safety of the United States, Elisabeth and her 10-month-old daughter continued to live among and the Quichua tribe in Ecuador. While working with the Quicha tribe, she met two Auca women. The Auca lived with her and taught her their language and then she went as a missionary to serve the tribe that killed her husband.
She took the message of the Gospel literally and responded in like manner.
We have all faced painful situations where another individual has caused significant pain in our lives. I can think of more than one example to share here from my personal experience and I can report that nothing good comes from seeking my own sense of revenge, no matter the circumstances.
Instead of calling a press conference and lashing out at the unwarranted death of her husband, Elisabeth gives us a real-life example of what it means to trust God – no matter what. It’s a lesson for all of us.