1 THESSALONIANS 5:15
“See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.”
What an interesting use of words, but you have to go back to the original language to really see why. You see, “repays” carries the idea of a payment or repayment. That is usually a good thing, but in this situation it’s bad. You’ve heard the expression “payback.” Well, that’s the idea here. It’s getting back at someone.
And the other words that are interesting are “seek after.” That’s one word in the Greek, and it can also be used in a good way or a bad way. Here, of course, it is a good thing. It means to earnestly pursue something. It’s your passion. It’s what drives you. You just can’t stop.
This is an easy application, if you will teach it. Children naturally want to “get back” at someone who has done them wrong. We all get that naturally. It’s part of our sin nature. Our job as parents is to lead our children to Christ who can transform that nature into His nature. Then, like Him, they will desire what is good for others, not payback.
One of the best ways to teach your children to do good towards those who try to harm them is to teach them to pray for them. It’s really hard to try to “get back” at someone you are praying for. Your child may even suggest a way to actually do something nice for that person in the name of Jesus. Encourage that.
Who is giving you a “fit” right now? Is there someone at work who just has it in for you? Perhaps, God forbid, there is someone at church you can’t get along with. Begin by praying for them. We never know what is going on in a person’s life, but God does. Then ask the Lord to use you to do good to them. Find a way to bless them. What happens might surprise you.
O Lord, I know all I deserve is payback for my sins. I do not deserve Your blessings. But because of Your Son, Jesus, I am declared righteous. Help me see others as deserving of that same righteousness.