“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” – (Leviticus 19:18, NIV)
“Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” – (Leviticus 19:18, ERV)
“Don’t seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.” – (Leviticus 19:18, MSG)
Revenge and grudges do not bring change. Love, however, does. If we truly love our neighbors as we are called to love, how can society help but change? Wrongs cannot always be righted, yet changed behavior can make the present and future far better. The more we understand one another, the better we are able to love. I imagine that the reason God says to love our neighbors as ourselves is because we know well, how we want to be treated and loved. Not one of us wants to be treated as less than, so we ought to always aim to love more. To love as God loved us means that we put others first, and seek to do good in ways that help and bless and lift our sisters and brothers up. We are all a work in progress, but we must do our part to pursue God’s best for one another. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us to love well, so that we are solution seekers rather than those who seek revenge.
Do not seek revenge,
Or carry a grudge;
But instead, love well,
Let God be the judge.
Seek always love well,
Sisters and brothers;
Let’s choose to love first,
Help one another.
Find ways to lift up,
Bless and do not curse,
For just as God loves,
We’re called to the same;
Give goodness and grace,
To honor God’s name.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us better than we could love ourselves. Thank You that You call us to the same. Forgive us for the times that we have sought revenge or held a grudge. Teach us to give our anger and frustration to You, and lean on You to lead us to love well. Show us how to bless, encourage, lift up and love well, all of those whom You place in our lives. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we let go of ugliness and embrace one another in love. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourself. – Romans 12:10