Dedicated to all those who exercise restraint instead of revenge, and who stand firm during storms of injustice.
The following is an excerpt from “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman (1925):
Do no take revenge, my friends. (Romans 12:19)
There are times when doing nothing demands much greater strength than taking action. Maintaining composure is often the best evidence of power. Even to the vilest and deadliest of charges, Jesus responded with deep, unbroken silence. His silence was so profound, it caused His accusers and spectators to wonder in awe. To the greatest insults, the most violent treatment, and to mockery that would bring righteous indignation to the feeblest of hearts, He responded with voiceless, confident calmness. Those who are unjustly accused, and mistreated without cause, know the tremendous strength that is necessary to keep silent and to leave revenge to God.
The apostle Paul said, “None of these things move me.” (Acts 20:24 KJV). He did not say, “None of these things hurt me.” It is one thing to be hurt, and quite another to be moved. Paul had a very tender heart, for we do not read of any other apostle who cried as he did. It takes a strong man to cry. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35), and He was the strongest man that ever lived.
Therefore it does not say, “None of these things hurt me.” The apostle Paul had determined not to move from what he believed was right. He did not value things as we are prone to do. He never looked for the easy way, and placed no value on his mortal life. He only cared about one thing, and that was his loyalty to Christ — to gain Christ’s smile. To Paul, more than to any other man, doing Christ’s work was his earthly pay, but gaining Christ’s smile was heaven. Margaret Bottome