Let It Go
October 2, 2005 • By Ed Wrather
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” - Romans 12:18-20.
If someone wrongs us, the Bible makes it clear that we should let God take care of the vengeance. Not only are we to let God take care of the avenging, but we are also to be nice to our enemies. However, some people try to do the avenging themselves and almost always, it causes problems for that person.
Thomas Haberbush is an example of what not to do. He is a 72-year-old retired elementary school teacher who has been holding onto a grudge for almost 30 years. In 1977, administrators in the Saratoga Springs School District gave him unsatisfactory work reviews, but Haberbush never forgot it.
Over the last couple of years, Haberbush has been trying to get even for those unsatisfactory work reviews. To do that, he has been vandalizing the property of former administrators, school board members, and even fellow teachers. Some of things that he did was to put nails on their driveways, and he threw paint on their garage doors and mailboxes. As a result, Haberbush has been charged with stalking, criminal tampering and criminal mischief.
We can learn several things from this. First, to return, or pay back evil for evil will not further God’s Kingdom. Second, instead of stirring up more trouble we should try to create an atmosphere of peace. Third, we must learn to follow God’s way and example to overcome evil. You do not overcome evil with evil. You overcome evil with good.
Contrary to what some people may say, life is rarely easy. It is hard at times to live life in a corrupted creation with this human fleshly sin nature. It is hard to deal with fellow human beings who also have this human flesh. It is hard to live with spouses that are sinners. It is hard to live with children that are sinners, and it is hard to live with parents that are sinners. But the fact is that this is the way it is, and there is little to do about it.
The good news is that we have a great and wonderful God who can help us and sustain us through whatever difficult thing we may encounter in life. We are not alone. We do not have to deal with difficult people by ourselves. There is no need to nurse a grudge for thirty years when we can receive strength from God to forgive and go on with our lives.
When people hurt you do not try to get even, instead go to God and allow Him to wipe away the tears and the pain. Let go of the anger and the bitterness - then do what God would have you to do and overcome evil with good.