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Saturday, November 29, 2014

#39. Ferguson - You Can't Have Them Both

"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 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." Romans 12:17-19

"You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression ... If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. And if we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.

If we take vengeance upon our enemies, we forfeit the justice that comes from the Just God. If we allow God to exact vengeance on our behalf, then we position ourselves for 
justice; which is the the administration of deserved punishment or reward. 

Vengeance may "kill" the offender the offended always dies - in some way. But justice liberates the injured and puts the aggressor in check. Vengeance satisfies the momentary need for power, but makes a person sick. I'd rather have God handle the "dirty" work, and I eat the fruits of justice, peace and prosperity, then to lower myself to the base instincts of an animal. You may want them both, vengeance and justice, but you can't have them both.  Choose one, and live with the consequences thereof.

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