DEFINITION: Values are principles or standards that affect one’s conduct and character. For the Christian, these values should be based upon God’s Word. The most important Christian value for a believer is to value God and His Word more than anything, anybody, or any idea. Christian values are based on spiritual things versus material things and on the principles of the Kingdom of God rather than those of the world.
FACTS ABOUT VALUES:
There are many sets of values in the world. Societies and people see the world through their own sets of values, many of which are relative to culture and environment.
Values are a major source of conflict in the world. The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East between Jews, Palestinians, Muslims, and Christians are examples. Value systems are the root causes of conflicts, chaos, confusion, and wars.
People who don’t believe in the true God often end up establishing their own values. Their motives might be good and some of their values might be positive, but they are not rooted in the truths of the Word of God. Thus, they are works of self-righteousness that are like filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6).
Values are not relative for a true believer. Christian values are standards of conduct established in God’s Word, behaviors and attitudes that should characterize a true believer in Jesus Christ. For the believer, values are not established by the culture or country in which they live or by popular opinion. The word “Christian” means one who is following the teachings of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:21). His values become your values.
It is your responsibility to learn Christian values. As a believer, you should not be wondering what the Christian standard of conduct is, rather you should be learning it from the source: The Bible.
It is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children biblical values. Parents are commanded to teach their children continuously: In the house, on the way, when they rise up, and when they go to bed (Deuteronomy 11:19).
DEALING WITH VALUES:
Seek forgiveness. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, do so. If you have been living a worldly lifestyle due to your value system or that imposed by your culture, ask God to forgive you.
Learn Christian values by immersing yourself in God’s Word. The Word is the definitive source for establishing Christian values in your life.
Ask God to help you incorporate these values into your conduct and character.
Pass on Christian values to your children, family, and friends. Always remember, however, that your conduct speaks louder than your words.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT VALUES:
The book of Proverbs is filled with precise statements regarding values. Here are some other key verses Christian regarding values:
Serve God: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
Love God and others: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Treat others as you want to be treated: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Do not judge others: Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Forgive others: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)
Be generous: …remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
Be content: [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have… (Hebrews 13:5)
Live what you learn in the Word: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)
The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23.
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“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void. But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11, NKJV)
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8)
DEFINITION: Biblically, worldliness is defined as being devoted to or engrossed in things of the world that are opposed to spiritual concerns. It is also referred to in the Bible as carnality or being a carnal Christian.
FACTS ABOUT WORLDLINESS:
The worldly believer is characterized by spiritual indifference, instability, and lack of discipline. A worldly believer is sinful and rebellious against God (James 4:4) and is a lover of worldly pleasures more than a lover of God (2 Timothy 3:5).
You cannot love the world and love God. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
A spiritually-minded person is the opposite of one with a worldly mind-set. A spiritually-minded person is focused on eternal things instead of things of the world (Colossians 3:2). He seeks first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). His life is characterized by the manifestation of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and spiritual discernment. He knows that to be spiritually-minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6).
The things of the world will all pass away. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
DEALING WITH WORLDLINESS:
Confess the sin of worldliness and ask God to forgive you. Worldliness is sin because it is characterized by spiritual indifference, instability, ungodly conduct, and lack of discipline. The things of the world become an idol to you, and idolatry is sin.
Make a decision to serve God, and Him alone. Like Joshua, declare that you and your household will serve the Lord and live by godly standards (Joshua 24:15). This means you will not do things just because “everyone else is doing them.” Your standards will be biblical, not those accepted or dictated by the world.
Immerse yourself in prayer and the Word of God. The more you learn about God through prayer and His Word, the less worldly you will be and/or have the desire to be.
Establish a relationship with other believers who are seeking to live scripturally instead of worldly. Do not hang out with people who live by worldly values.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT WORLDLINESS:
…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:25-33)
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)
What is highly valuable among men is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:15)
The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-20)
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you…(Romans 8:6-9, NKJV)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passes away.
(1 Corinthians 7:31, NKJV)
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16)
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14-15)
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:7-8)
… for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.
(2 Timothy 4:10)
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. (Titus 2:11-12)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?
Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. (James 5:5)
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:4)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
(1 John 2:15-17)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5)
DEFINITION: Godly wisdom is the ability to understand what others cannot understand. It is knowledge of what is right, proper, and reasonable according to God’s Word. It is using good sense and judgment. Lack of Godly wisdom results in bad decisions and living a sinful lifestyle.
FACTS ABOUT WISDOM:
There are two types of wisdom. The wisdom of God that comes from above and the wisdom of this world. James explains: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:13-18)
Wisdom can be developed in three ways. Experience, observation, and revelation. Through your own experiences and by observing the experiences of others you can learn what to do and what not to do! The best way to learn, however, is through divine revelation from God and His written Word.
God is the one who gives wisdom. From the beginning of Old Testament record, God gave wisdom to His people to accomplish His purposes (Exodus 36:1-1; Deuteronomy 34:9; 1 Kings 4:19-30; Daniel 1:20; Acts 7:9-10.)
DEALING WITH WISDOM:
Repent of any unwise decisions you have made. This will give you a fresh start at living your life with the wisdom given by God instead of your own misguided wisdom or unsound guidance given by others.
Ask God for wisdom. Solomon asked for wisdom and received it (2 Chronicles 1:10-12).
James advised: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:4-8). Proverbs 2:1-6 chronicles the intensity with which you should seek God’s wisdom.
Learn from observation. You can learn from observing the experiences of others. In referring to the Old Testament record, the Apostle Paul said: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). He also advised: “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” (Philippians 3:17). It is better to learn from observing others than experiencing negative circumstances yourself.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT WISDOM:
It is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:12)
Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord. (Psalm 107:43)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalms 111:10)
Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands. (Psalm 119:66)
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:1-6)
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. (Proverbs 2:12-15)
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3:13-15)
Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7, NKJV)
For whoever finds me [Wisdom] finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:35-36)
The way of the fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)
Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips. (Proverbs 14:7)
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! (Proverbs 16:16)
A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. (Proverbs 18:7)
He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers. (Proverbs 19:8)
Wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 24:14)
Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom
preserves the life of its possessor. (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city. (Ecclesiastes 7:19)
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have? (Jeremiah 8:9)
This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)
… but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:24-29)
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:13-16)
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”. (1 Corinthians 3:19)
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:11)
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (Ephesians 1:17)
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9)
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (James 1:4-8)
The wisdom of God that comes from above and the wisdom of this world: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18)
The book of Proverbs says more about wisdom than any other book in the Bible. That is the purpose of the book declared in Proverbs chapter 1. Read through Proverbs and mark all the references to “wise” and “wisdom.”
DEFINITION: Weakness is a condition of being fatigued, tired, and inadequate physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally to the extent that you cannot function effectively.
FACTS ABOUT WEAKNESS:
There are two main types of weakness. One is weakness (as defined above) that hinders you from functioning effectively. The other type of weakness is desiring something so much that you are unable to resist it. The latter meaning is dealt with as “Temptation” in this database.
Weakness is multi-faceted and interrelated. You can experience physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional weakness. One type of weakness can affect other areas of your life. For example, emotional weakness can also affect your physical body by causing stress.
What causes weakness. Spiritual weakness is caused by not spending time with God and in His Word and/or refusing to do God’s revealed will. Emotional weakness can result from not dealing properly with difficult circumstances and wrong emotional responses. Physical weakness results from sickness, lack of exercise, or lack of proper rest. Mental weakness results from not controlling your thought life. (Mental weakness, as defined here, does not mean mental illness. See “Mental Illness” in this database for coverage of this topic.) Weakness can also result from receiving the Lord’s Supper improperly (1 Corinthians 11:28-30).
DEALING WITH WEAKNESS:
Analyze your weakness. It is important to discover the root cause of your weakness so you can deal with it and not repeat behaviors that are causing it. Are you experiencing physical weakness resulting from an illness or not eating, resting, or exercising? Is it emotional weakness due to not handling negative circumstances properly? Is it spiritual weakness resulting from lack of time with God, in prayer, and in the Word? Are you losing the spiritual battle for you mind? Are you deliberately disobeying God and doing something that is causing spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical weakness?
Admit your weakness to God. The Apostle Paul admitted his weakness to God, and in so doing God gave him strength (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). Sometimes God supernaturally eliminates your weakness, but at other times He gives you strength in the midst of it.
Accept and confess God’s provision for strength in your weakness. The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells within you. Draw upon that strength. Claim promises like Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Correct root causes of your weakness. If your weakness is physical because of improper rest, exercise, or diet, correct these. If you have been losing the battle for your mind, study the topic of the “Mind and Thoughts” in this database. If you are emotionally weak, learn how to handle your emotions properly. Correct any sinful behaviors that may be causing weakness. For sure, spend time with God and His Word to strengthen yourself spiritually.
Spend time in God’s presence. “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV).
Recognize that when you are weak, you are strong spiritually. Weaknesses, handicaps, and inadequacies can be positive in that they make you recognize your dependence on God. This relieves you of trying to do God’s work in your own strength, and motivates you to function in the power of the Holy Spirit. It replaces pride with humbleness and provides a marvelous opportunity for the Lord to demonstrate what He can do through you. Weakness actually attracts God’s strength (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT WEAKNESS:
…You strength will equal your days. (Deuteronomy 33:25)
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7)
…for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalms 18:2, NKJV)
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. (Psalm 18:16-17)
You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. (Psalm 18:35)
You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet. (Psalms 18:39)
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1, NKJV)
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalms 28:7)
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalms 29:1)
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him. (Psalms 37:39-40, NKJV)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (Psalm 62:1)
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4)
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Psalm 118:14)
The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:14)
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy one of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not, (Isaiah 30:15, AMP)
He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 11:28-30)
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Ephesians 6:10, NKJV)
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:29)
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. (Hebrews 11:32-34)
(Retribution And Revenge)
DEFINITION: Vengeance–retribution or revenge–is the infliction of injury, harm, humiliation or punishment in return for an injury or offence.
FACTS ABOUT VENGEANCE:
God forbids revenge. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).
Vengeance is God’s responsibility. It is a function that God alone is to execute (Romans 12:19). When you take matters into your own hands and seek retribution, you are trying to assume God’s authority.
Revenge does not bring closure. It does not help you forget the wrong you suffered and it does not help you heal emotionally or spiritually. True healing from wrongs suffered cannot be attained when you are violating God’s Word by seeking or executing revenge.
You are to love your enemies. God’s strategy for dealing with someone who wrongs you is to show them love and compassion (Luke 6:27) and seek to resolve offences (Matthew 18:15-16).
DEALING WITH VENGEANCE:
Ask God for forgiveness. If you have had vengeful thoughts, sought, or taken revenge, ask God to forgive you because you have violated His Word.
Ask God to give you love for the offender. This is not something you can generate on your own. It comes through God’s power and the Holy Spirit being manifested in your life.
If you have taken revenge, seek forgiveness. Ask the one upon whom you took revenge to forgive you. Follow the guidelines of Matthew 18:15-16.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT VENGEANCE:
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice. (Proverbs 24:17)
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you. (Proverbs 25:21-22)
You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38-39)
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. (Luke 6:27)
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)
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)
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)
When they hurled their insults at him (Jesus), he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)