1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NLT)
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

The Apostle Paul tells us that we should be careful not to avenge ourselves by harming those who have harmed us. We are to forgive as God has forgiven us and not dwell on the wrong done unto us. We are to always promote the welfare of others by doing good unto them and not evil. Our goodness should not just reach out to those who are Christians, but to everyone.



Mark Buchanan in the article �Messy, Costly, Dirty Ministry� wrote �The Tuesday night prayer meeting at Brooklyn Tabernacle felt like skydiving into a tornado, exhausting and exhilarating all at once. I'd read about the meeting in Pastor Jim Cymbala's book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, but nothing prepared me for the event itself: 3,500 God-hungry people storming heaven for two hours.

Afterward, my friend and I went out to dinner with the Cymbalas. In the course of the meal, Jim turned to me and said, "Mark, do you know what the number one sin of the church in America is?" I wasn't sure, and the question was rhetorical anyhow. "It's not the plague of internet pornography that is consuming our men. It's not that the divorce rate in the church is roughly the same as society at large."

Jim named two or three other candidates for the worst sin, all of which he dismissed. "The number one sin of the church in America," he said, "is that its pastors and leaders are not on their knees crying out to God, 'Bring us the drug-addicted, bring us the prostitutes, bring us the destitute, bring us the gang leaders, bring us those with AIDS, bring us the people nobody else wants, whom only you can heal, and let us love them in your name until they are whole.'"

I had no response. I was undone. He had laid me bare, found me out, and exposed my fraudulence. I was the chief of sinners. I had never prayed, not once, for God to bring such people to my church. So I went home and repented. I stopped sinning. I began to cry out for "those nobody wanted."

And darned if God didn't bring them. But then I found out why nobody wants them: they're messy and costly and dirty. They swear at you, lie to you, steal from you. Worse, they make you love them, and then often break your heart.�

Love usually costs us something. The Bible tells us in John 3:16, �For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.� God loved us even in our sin that He gave the life of His Son Jesus Christ to pay our messy debt of sin.