Tons of sports fans love dressing up and making signs to support their favorite team, but one fan gained national attention by getting even. During the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears game on Christmas a few years ago, a woman held up a sign with a particularly special message to her now ex-boyfriend. The sign, which read, "My cheating ex boyfriend is watching from couch instead," was shown during NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and it quickly spread over social media.
I have to admit that I chuckled as I watched her hold up that sign. Getting even is everywhere in our American culture. There are catchy country songs about people getting even with their cheating half. Songs that I’ve listen to. There are blockbuster movies whose sole theme is having the main actor/actress get revenge for their loss. Movies that I’ve paid to see.
Don’t get me wrong I love justice. I love seeing good overcome evil. I love watching bad guys get what’s coming to them. But most of what we sing along to and watch isn’t real life or helping us grow as followers of Jesus. It’s hard to get better when we’re stuck at being bitter. Jesus doesn’t leave us an option for revenge.
Last weekend at our services, we read Matthew 5:38-39 and 1 Peter 2:23-24. We find that Jesus exampled that when we’re being treated unfairly that we need to leave it up to God to the judge and jury. I believe there are two reasons for God to defend us: unlike us, God wouldn’t be blinded by emotions; and unlike us, God has a perfect perspective. Jesus showed that it takes strength to suffer hurt and show love in return.
His perfect love draws people to Himself. If Jesus didn’t suffer injustice, then there weren’t be salvation. If we really see ourselves as the Bible describes us in Romans 5:8 and Ephesians 2:1-10, we should be thankful that God didn’t give us justice or what we deserve. By asking forgiveness for our sin and believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection, God gives us grace.
Forgiven people forgive people.