Revenge Is A Dish Best Not Served
I often am the judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to repaying those that have wronged me. I am not likely to be merciful or give them the benefit of the doubt. Neither do I wait long to have my revenge. I am horrible at keeping grudges and detailed logs of the hurts and wrongs that I have received. When I read “Vengence is mine, I will repay”, it is a dagger to my heart. I want my justice, and I want it now! But the Lord knows better than I and distributes justice with the wisdom I could never fathom. Revenge is not ours to take.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:9
We Are Not Wise
When I am at the climax of wanting to repay someone who has harmed me, I am not thinking clearly, and I do not know the whole story. I am never qualified to exact revenge because I am not wise enough to get it right. How many times have you tried to right a wrong, only to feel guilty at the end because of how far you took it? We are selfish people who have double standards and think too highly of ourselves. We cannot execute justice fairly.
Christ is Our Righteousness
We have the riches of Christ’s inheritance not on our account but on Christ’s. Christ is all of our righteousness, not most of it. No matter how good we think we are, we do not have any moral ground to stand on. We are not in the position to execute justice because we are just as guilty as anyone who has harmed us. We deserve the same sentence and execution of our enemies. We trust in the Lord because he is the only righteous one and will ultimately right all wrongs.
Cool Head in the Heat of Battle
While most Christians would affirm what I have said, the problem is where the rubber meets the road. In the heat of battle, we lose our cool, and we act without contemplation or prayer. Too often, when wisdom catches up with us, it is too late. While it can be hard to keep your cool, here are a few practical things I do:
- Take several deep breaths, focusing on my inhales and exhales
- Pray in the moment; Outloud is even more effective
- Repeat what I want to say in my head several times
- Hold my tongue
- Let the other person have the last word (turn the other cheek)
- Talk the situation over with my wife afterward
God is our Comforter
In America, our culture is all about taking care of yourself. If you don’t, no one will after all. But this is against the Gospel. God is made strong in our weakness. God is our comforter in the end. We are told if we follow Christ we should expect affliction and persecution. These are not opportunities to exact revenge, but to show Christ strong. In this world, evil will prosper and advance in ways that are unjust. But we wait on the Lord. He will right our wrongs and ultimately create a new heaven and earth after defeating evil once and for all.