Revenge is a popular theme among humanity today. It is sought after, lusted over, and even glamorized by Hollywood television. When discussing revenge, a friend once shared the following illustration with me.
There was once a man who was bitten by a dog, which was later discovered to be rabid. The man was rushed to the hospital where tests revealed that he had, in fact, contracted rabies. At the time, medical science had no cure for this disease and so his doctor faced the difficult task of informing him that his condition was incurable and terminal. “Sir, we will do all we can to make you comfortable. But I cannot give you false hope. There is nothing we can really do. My best advice is that you put your affairs in order as soon as possible.”
The dying man sank back on his bed in shock, but finally rallied enough strength to ask for a pen and some paper. He then set to work with great energy. An hour later, when the doctor returned, the man was stilling writing vigorously. The doctor commented “I’m glad to see that you’re working on your will.”
“This ain’t no will, Doc.” Replied the dying man, “this is a list of the people I’m going to bite before I die.”
As Christians, we are called to allow God to have revenge, not take it upon ourselves. Rather than take revenge, Christians are called to show love. I want to share five ways to avoid the mistake of revenge with you.
1. Learn how to love (Romans 12:9-11)
It is hard to take revenge when you love the other person. In fact, Peter tells us that love covers many sins and that Christians should continue loving one another (1 Peter 4:8). If we can learn how to love we will learn how to avoid the mistake of revenge.
2. Do good to others (Romans 12:13-14)
When we are seeking to do harm to another, our judgment gets clouded and we fall into the trap of sin. Christians are called to live a holy life and to do right and good to all, even their enemies. Sometimes we forget that.
3. Live a peaceful life (Romans 12:16-18)
Hebrews 12:14 says “Strive for peace with everyone, ad for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” We are called to bring peace, not war. We are not called to bicker with others or to avenge ourselves. How do you know if you are living a peaceful life? Proverbs 16:7 says When a man’s ways please the Lord he will have peace with his enemies. Are you known for your peaceful way of living?
4. Let God intercede (Romans 12:19)
We must not take vengeance, let God do so as he sees fit. It is not our place to avenge ourselves.
5. Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:18-21)
Do not repay an eye for an eye. Christians must repay evil with kindness, even when it is hard to do so.
If we follow these fives steps, we will not only please Christ, but our witness for him will become exceedingly great! Read 1 Thessalonians 5:15.
What revenge do you need to let go of and give to Christ?