Avoid evil for evil (Romans 12:17)—Human nature’s typical response to someone doing something evil to you is 1) disbelief; 2) to wonder why she did it; 3) to figure out how to get her back; and 4) to get her back. This pattern always leads to slander. Wondering why often has you creating scenarios regarding your culprit’s thoughts and the motives in her heart. This will not change the slander nor make your culprit remorseful. Neither will trying to figure out how to get her back and getting her back remove the wrong done to you and change your perpetrator’s heart. Instead of traveling the slanderous road, bless the one who did evil to you (Romans 12:14). You can do this by 1) praying that God changes her heart and 2) doing something more practical for her like providing for a basic need or sending her a note of forgiveness or encouragement (Proverbs 25:21-22).
Focus on being a friend—Sometimes your friends are the ones who do you wrong. With them too avoid evil for evil and concentrate on being a friend by 1) loving at all times (Proverbs 17:17); 2) providing earnest counsel (Proverbs 27:9 and Ephesians 4:15); and 3) encouraging and challenging her (Proverbs 27:17 and Romans 14:19). Loving at all times includes even when your friend shows you no love. Love should always be unconditional because this is how Jesus Christ loves us. If you concentrate on being a friend, you don’t have time, energy or inclination to travel the slanderous road.
Remember your job as an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)—Whatever you do is a reflection of our Christianity. If you wrong people because they wrong you, people will believe the God you claim to love does the same. You’ve heard, “If that’s the way Christians act, then I don’t want to be a Christian” or something similar. As an ambassador of Jesus Christ, you have to represent Him by doing what He would do, loving the way He loved. This is the way you draw people to Jesus Christ. This is the Christian’s main mission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Remember, God says that He will provide vengeance to those who have done evil (Romans 12:19 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6). We must trust God at his Word, all of it. If He says to avoid evil for evil , be a friend, and remember our job as ambassadors of Christ, this is what we must do. This is faith and is what pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). We must think about what our actions will accomplish and then choose the actions that will reflect the character of Christ. Easy? No. Required? Yes. And being nonslanderous is possible through prayer and following the example of Christ (Psalm 119:133 and 1 Peter 2:21).
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith