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Romans 12:17 “Get Thick Skin”

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

Why do so many passages hit us right between the eyes? It’s like God knows us and exactly what we’re thinking. Oh yeah, He does. He knows we need more than a little coaching on some issues. God knows Christians are going to live under a microscope. His guidance is often very practical, “credibility” advice. God knows we are thin-skinned and take offense at the smallest things. He wants to protect us from our own stupidity before we get hurt or hurt someone else. God knows we are habitual beings. He wants us to build a habit of “Doing Right Things Right” as often as possible.

How many ways are there to be evil? How many ways are there to pay evil back for evil? The sooner we can break the cycle of offend and payback the offense, the easier it will be on ourselves and everyone around us. It sure is easy to recommend this approach. It sure is hard to remember, when we’re fired up about being “done wrong.” So let’s try to develop a habit of discerning what evil is done to us really is, evil abhorrent behavior. If we can isolate the behavior of someone hurting us, then we can choose to not let the hurt affect us. God says He’ll handle all revenge and vengeance. So, at the point we give it to God, the evil is no longer an effect on us. Once we break that angry focus, the devil loses leverage over you! God says we have NOTHING to fear that He can’t handle. Let it go. Pray for the evil doer. Hell sucks and evil’s reward is an all-expense paid ticket to eternal damnation.

Now that we have that understanding, we need to remember one thing. If we ignore God and do evil in return, we are equally EVIL, guilty and condemned. Ugh! Why do we gotta go there?! We didn’t start it!! It doesn’t matter to God. He says DON’T REPAY ANYONE EVIL FOR EVIL. Our little bit of revenge is not OK; it’s evil, period. The better news is, if we do it right, the way God instructs, it will lift an incredible load of “junk” from our lives. No score keeping needed. Just forgive, give it to God, and do what is right. Then, watch how much easier and less complicated life becomes.

One name for this skill is called “thick skin.” God says His protection is armor. Now you know exactly how to develop your “armor of thick skin,” one discerning decision at a time. When we are confronted by evil, we used to just get angry and react, now we don’t react and give satisfaction to the evil doer. It drives them crazy and makes you feel RIGHT with your Maker!

A personal message...

“These devotions were written to my four children, Christian, Mike, Allison and Alex. By the kids allowing these to be shared publicly, our hope is that the devotions will make a positive and eternal difference in the lives of other young people as they mature. Enjoy. Rick Isaacson”

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