Spiritual super heroes

April 26, 2010

This verse is great for living, but it would be destructive for Hollywood.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

If revenge were only for God, which it is, and we actually lived this way, what would all our action movies be about?  The Indiana Jones franchise would be the only one left.  It’s never sweet, always bitter.  It never offers a solution, only another set of problems, and it never makes anyone feel good, no matter what they say in the movies.

On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20)

This coal heaping is not revenge, it’s the polar opposite.  Through the years I have read many places (including a comment posted on my blog days ago) about a “hot-coal-holder” people used to carry around on their heads, and  giving someone a hot coal on their head is actually an action of great service, not the hair scorching, scalp searing event we come to think of when discussing hot coal heads.  So the action suggested by the verse, feeding and thirst-quenching, are not acts of revenge, but of service – great service.  So don’t think of your kindness as a form of righteous revenge, it’s just the opposite.

This is one of those “impossible for man, but possible for God” kind of things.  We can hardly imagine ignoring an offense, let alone returning a favor for an offense.  Yet that is what the letter to Romans suggests, demands even.  How can we do that?  Only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

This chapter is so full of wise advise, and literally none of it is doable in the flesh.  And all of it is doable under the power of the Spirit.

As we submit to the authority of God we become empowered to do that which is beyond the ability of mere men and women.  We become spiritual super heroes.  Faster than a speeding criticism, more powerful than a put down.  Able to leap talkative bullies in a single bound.  Look…well I guess you get my point.  We can’t take on critics, bullies or any kind of assult on our own.  But with the power of the Holy Spirit, we don’t have to,  we can love them to death.

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