Wanting to Get Even

Wanting To Get Even                                               December 5, 2021

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.  ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.’  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:18-21)

Wanting to take revenge on someone who has hurt you seems like a natural reaction.  After all, if someone slaps you on the face then why shouldn’t you want to get even by slapping  them back?  I believe it’s called the “you hurt me then I hurt you” mentality. 

However, that is not the attitude Jesus wants His followers to have.  There is a better way; a more effective way.  In Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus told His followers to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecuted them.  God’s love for all mankind is perfected in His followers when they act like His Son did when He was mistreated.  The apostle Peter tells us that Christ was this way, “and while being reviled, Jesus did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to God who judges righteously;” (I Peter 2:23).

Followers of Christ are not in the revenging business but in the saving one.  God notices every hurt we experience from others and He tells us that He will take revenge for us.  In being kind to those who mistreat us we enable them to see themselves as they truly are.  When they lie down in bed they remember how amazing it was that we didn’t act in a revengeful way.  They are reminded of our kindness rather than our retaliation.  They wonder why we acted the way we did.  It just wasn’t natural.

Whether you’re a Christian or not, taking revenge only enhances and prolongs the problem between you and the other person(s).  It may cause you to think that things have been taken care and it may even make you feel good but, in fact, the problem has worsen.  Now you have to look in the mirror at night and see yourselves as you really are and you have to try to go to sleep knowing you took things into your own hands rather than God.  In your mind you may try to justify your retaliatory action by saying that they deserved it.  But was that your choice to make or should it have been God’s?

We need to wait on God for revenge and then our conscience can be clear.  Never be overcome by evil but always over come evil with good just like Jesus did.

Brian Thompson

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