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Balancing the Account

Daily Devotional for July 23, 2014

Read: Matthew 5:38-44

Steven burst into the family room. "Mom, Melissa hit me!" he yelled.

"He hit me first." Melissa followed close on Steven's heels.

"I owed you one from last time," Steven roared. "The Bible says if someone hits you, you have the right to hit him back!" He glared at his sister. "In the Old Testament it says, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' I read it myself."

"That passage isn't talking about personal vengeance," said Dad. "It was a civil law to ensure justice in the nation of Israel. People who return blow for blow find the score is never settled. Their actions are never balanced. Someone always owes someone else a blow. It's like . . . like your mother's checkbook and the bank statement." All heads--including Mom's--turned to him in surprise.

"Mom says they don't balance," added Dad. "We put money into a checking account, and then we keep track of how much is spent. The bank keeps track, too. We should agree with them on the amount that's left, but a minute ago, Mom complained that they don't come out the same--they don't balance."

"That's true," admitted Mom with a rueful smile.

"Well, for our actions to balance, I had to hit Melissa," insisted Steven. "Like I said, I owed her a good punch."

"Jesus has a better plan," Dad said. "He says to return good for evil. When you do that, you'll often be surprised to find that the other person changes, too, and the action between the two of you does balance out. That's the only way to really settle the score. Why don't you try it?"

"You mean whenever Steven hits me, I'm supposed to do something good for him?" Melissa asked with a frown.

"God says to overcome evil with good," repeated Dad. "Nobody said it would be easy, but the results are worth the effort."

Steven and Melissa looked at each other. "We'll try," they said in unison.

"Hey, this will sure be different," added Steven. "Um . . . you want a piece of my candy, Melissa?"

"Sure," she replied, "and you can play one of my games if you want to."

Mom smiled. "Great," she said. "That balances one account. Now if I could just get my checkbook and the bank statement to balance . . ."

Are you keeping track of the wrong treatment others give you? Are you figuring out how you can get back at them? God’s way to settle the issue is for you to do something good for them. Think of someone who recently wasn’t very nice to you. Then think of something you could do that would be nice for him or her. Now go do it and see what happens. You’ll feel a lot better when you use God’s way to balance your account with that person

TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Romans 12:21 (KJV)
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
*Verse displayed is NKJV

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