Lay Your Grievances Down
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21, NIV)
I was a state witness to the execution of Velma Barfield, the first woman to be executed in the United States in more than twenty-two years. I had developed a friendship with her about six months prior to her execution as a result of her correspondence with my mother and had grown to love her as a sister in Christ. Following the execution, a newspaper reporter called me, probing my reaction. “Anne, how are you going to get back at the state? Aren’t you bitter?” I knew I had the opportunity to allow the grief over my friend’s death to go a step further and become a grievance that would become bitterness.
By God’s grace, I chose to take my reaction to the cross of Christ. In prayer, I had to “crucify” the anger and bitterness I felt was justified, leaving it with the One Who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (Rom. 12:19, NIV). I laid my grievances at the nail-pierced feet of One Who understands firsthand what it feels like to be deeply wounded by the sin of other people. Would you do the same?