If you haven’t been the subject of the judgements of others, you are either the nicest person on earth, or you don’t get out much.
But assuming that it is your desire to advance the Kingdom of Christ, I can assume that you have been gossiped about, lied about, deliberately excluded, sworn at, threatened, and possibly even assaulted. Thus, some people have made it hard for your to not wish God’s vengeance upon them; they really are that mean!
I’m sure that we all agree with the old preacher who told his congregation, “You are not to be “Judges of men.” But you are called to be “Fruit inspectors.”
However, the wise Christian knows that the line separating “Inspector” and “Judge” is easily crossed when the devil offers an opportunity for retaliation. Suddenly, that list of people that have made themselves very easily to dislike, are recategorized as: “Those in need of improvement.” Therefore, we set out on a journey that can only lead to more abuse.
That is why Jesus said, “Remove the speck from your own eye,” before launching a Clean-up Campaign on your neighbour. But note that Jesus also looks to the heart of the other person. If they, on inspection, prove to be rotten, then you must take care lest you are “throwing pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:5-6).
Vengeance, at every level, belongs to God. So, those “avenging angles” in our congregations a best invited to trade in their wings and swords for faith that God knows what he is doing. He says,
“Do not take revenge, my dear 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).
It all comes back to our daily focus. We are to rejoice in the knowledge that when being persecuted we are following in the steps of Christ. He is the perfect model of grace and trust:
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).