August 31, 2009
For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts. Proverbs 6:34-35
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Weddings are supposed to be happy times. "Happy" does not describe a recent Kuwaiti wedding.
The day began with hundreds of family and friends gathering together. The level of anticipation was high as the bride was getting dressed and her last touches of make-up were being applied.
That's when a fire broke out in the tent of the women -- the tent where hundreds of women and children were waiting for the party to begin.
The fire spread quickly. In three minutes the tent, the upholstered seating, and all things flammable were gone.
So were 43 of the family and friends.
A terrible accident? No. The fire was started by the groom's ex-wife who felt she had been poorly treated. Later in the day she confessed to having poured gasoline around the tent.
Jealousy, over-active anger, and revenge are all emotions, which although sometimes understandable, are not beneficial.
They are unproductive and they are unchristian.
Think, how would the Gospels read if Jesus had repaid evil for evil? What kind of Savior would we have if Jesus had rained fire down upon His hometown of Nazareth because they tried to kill Him? What kind of salvation would we have if Jesus had melted the judges at His trial? Where would be our hope if Jesus had come down off His cross and put the guilty ones up there?
Thankfully, that was not Jesus' way. He set His righteous wrath aside so He might do the Father's work, carry our sins, and save our souls. Because He did, all who believe are saved.
Now, in appreciation for what He has done for us, we need to do the same for the others in our life who have committed smaller slights and lesser insults against us. We need to forgive as we have been forgiven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You sacrificed Yourself so I might be forgiven and saved. May I live my life as if that sacrifice were important to me. It is. This I ask in the Name of my Savior who has forgiven my sins and my slights. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries