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2 Samuel 3:27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gateway to speak with him privately, and there he stabbed him in the stomach. So he died for shedding the blood of Asahel, Joab’s brother.
Not a day passes that I don’t feel it—the subtle chill of metal against my skin. Occasionally, I think I am a prophet, running with Joab’s sword of righteousness and vengeance to redeem the young black men with gunshot wounds or to defend underpaid workers in strawberry fields or to speak up when politicians belittle my transgender friends.
It is tempting to take a sword of justice into my own hands, to ensure that those who do wrong receive retribution. I am reminded of the true statement: Hurt people hurt people. So I look to Jesus to soothe my burning cheek and set my face toward the pain rather than add to it.
MOVING FORWARD: What can you do to respond to difficult moments out of love rather than vengeance?