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Don't Be Vengeful

In Matthew 5:38-42 Jesus talks about not taking revenge on those who do you wrong or want to bring harm to you. 

You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. If any man would go to law with you and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

Don't seek revenge
image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

People can be mean - cruel even. "Getting even" isn't the way Jesus wants us to handle these types of situations. When these laws were given by Moses, they were not meant to help people get their own private justice. They were meant to limit these types of personal revenge. Actually, they were meant for the court system to match the punishment to the crime. Because personal revenge was usually worse punishment than was necessary.

My goodness, if we seek revenge on everyone who wrongs us, we would never have time for the important stuff like teaching people to forgive and to love God and others. When Jesus was accused of doing wrong, of blasphemy even (!), he stood silent. We can do the same. He was the example for us to follow. Just move on. When our "enemies" upset us to the point of getting back at them, they enjoy it, and they win. If we let it go, they become confused. They may continue to try to upset us and make us "crack", but eventually, that's going to get tiresome for them. We win faster if we let go of the issue, and let God work His miracles when we "turn the other cheek". If the situation becomes criminal, then let the courts handle it. If the vengeful person is persistent even if it doesn't become criminal, remove yourself from the situation.

Some people live on vengeance, indulge on the turmoil it brings. But in the end, maybe you help not only yourself by receiving God's grace because you haven't stooped to retaliation but also help the vengeful person realize how silly their acts really are. Perhaps they will grow closer to God instead of listening to the devil's lies. Often these people just overreact to circumstances or want to control others. Or the only way they know how to interact with others is with vindictive behaviors. Trust God with the situation. He will handle it better than we can anyway.

Romans 12:19 WEB says, "Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, 'Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.'" (quoted from Deuteronomy 32:35 WEB "Vengeance is mine.") The entire chapter of Romans 12 is a re-iterance of what Jesus said here in Matthew 5:38-42. Romans 12:21 WEB sums it up with "Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." 

I know, from experience, how difficult this is going to be at first. But trust me when I say you can do it. Revenge is a fuel source for many people. Seek peace instead of revenge. Because peace is a much better fuel that leaves you energized and ready for God's work. God will take care of the vengeful person/people in our lives. He will work on their hearts, and if they refuse to seek His ways, then He will deal with them another way. He's the only One who knows all, making Him the best One to handle these situations. 

#jesussaid

May the peace of our Mighty God be with you,

Patricia

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