revengeWhen we are hurt by others, it is natural to desire revenge on some level. We want them to hurt for hurting us. For equity’s sake this is the reason God instituted an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth. Our nature is not equity, but escalation… a head for an eye, an arm for a tooth.

Jesus took it further though. He commanded we pray for and love our enemies (Mt 5:44).  Paul wrote we are to bless and feed our enemies (Ro 12:14, 20). What is prohibited is revenge… which can take on many forms. Revenge can be:

Secretly wishing for evil to befall a person… and being happy if it happens…

Ignoring them or giving a harsh look when in their presence…

Saying things designed to hurt, tear down, or generally not build them up (Eph 4:29)…

Giving a bad report about them to others…

Doing anything that harms them or their family in any way.

Those things cause problems! As I heard one time, “Anger, bitterness, and revenge are the poisons we drink hoping others will die.” Then there is another truth I recently read, “When you try to get payment through revenge the evil does not disappear. Instead, it spreads… most tragically of all into you.” How true! At this point the Golden Rule is worth remembering: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Here are three things that will keep us from seeking/desiring revenge: 1) Loving the one who has hurt us, 2) Trusting God to make everything right, 3) Praying for the good of the other person.

Harboring anger and/or seeking revenge is devastating… to us! Let it go and trust the perfect righteous Judge to make everything right.


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