“Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you” –Proverbs 20:22 (NIV). This gospel truth, explained below, is astounding.
The song Don’t Be Cruel by 1980s and ‘90s rock band Cheap Trick has the line, “But don’t be cruel, to a heart that’s true,” which could also be synonymous for the intent of the above proverb in some ways.
But first we must see here that life is basically unjust. Enemies and potential enemies are afoot everywhere.
Life is never quite as just as it should be. Sure, things turn out justly a lot of the time, but we can find many examples where justice simply does not play out during the course of our lives. God slowly makes things just, but overall, there is a justice gap in this ordinary world.
But, when we put that truth (i.e. life is unjust) together with an acceptance of that same fact, we get ourselves to a point of being able to live out the proverb at top.
When we’re able to consistently accept unjust outcomes resiliently, leaving any injustice to be sorted by God alone, we create a situation where God stands there and fights the fight for us, and we should then watch on humbly and compassionately when this occurs (not gloatingly; as it is written, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them” –Proverbs 24:17-18 (TNIV)).
The lesson for people who might come against the ‘heart that’s true,’ generally, is God will avenge these situations far more potently in the longer term than that person could do for themselves. I have seen it happen in my own life and in others’ lives so often I believe it to be irrevocably true, as a biblical wisdom rule of life.
We might actually pity the person who came against us in these situations as God’s justice is often harsher and more final than the justice we’d have liked to extend to these.
See now how the advice in the Cheap Trick song, understood literally i.e. don’t be cruel to a heart that’s true, is good advice. We go against the heart that’s true to our own potential peril, as God inevitably stands for this person. For the Godly, this is our charge.
We must keep our hearts true, and at all times, wait for the LORD’s justice.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.