Posts Tagged ‘Revenge


No Retaliation

Revenge is easy. Restraint is hard. When someone wrongs us, it can be so easy to lash out and strike back. Our pride is wounded and our feelings are hurt. When someone bullies us, we want to bully them right back. When someone insults us, we’ve got a zinger ready for them. When someone gossips about us, we’re ready with a, “Did you know…?” about them. Peter said that there is a better way for Christians to act. He wrote in 1 Peter 3:9 (NLT):

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

Jesus said to bless those who curse us. We may want an eye for an eye, but the way of Jesus is different. Followers of Christ are called to lay aside our wounded pride and love and forgive those who hurt us. Jesus, hanging on the cross, asked the Father to forgive those who were killing Him. He is our example of restraint instead of revenge.
Who has injured you recently that you need to forgive instead of taking vengeance against? Show them mercy today.



Jesus is our model and example of patience in the face of suffering. He suffered greatly on the last day of His life. He was mocked and insulted. He was beaten and tortured. He was crucified and killed. Yet He did not seek revenge nor did He call down fire from Heaven on those who were killing Him even though He could have done so. Peter says in 1 Peter 2:23 (NLT):
He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
The prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus hundreds of years before His life. Isaiah 53:7 (NIV) says:
He was oppressed and afflicted,

yet he did not open his mouth;he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,

    so he did not open his mouth.
Jesus could have retaliated, yet He chose to suffer in silence. He chose death so that we could have life. He trusted God the Father with His life. We should do the same. If you suffer unjustly for your faith or integrity, do not retaliate or seek revenge. Instead, let God fight your battle for you and judge those who wrong you. He is not blind to your situation or circumstances. He knows and He will have the final word.

Getting Even Plus

When someone hurts us, our first instinct is to get even with them. We want revenge! Jesus addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount. He said:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. – Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV)

Here’s the problem with revenge. Rarely is it eye for eye. It’s two eyes for an eye. We don’t want to just get even. We want to get even plus. Jesus turns this thinking upside down and says that we need to go the extra mile by returning evil with kindness instead of revenge. Jesus expects His followers to be different from the world. That means that instead of revenge, we respond with love.

Those Who Do Evil

Peter quotes Psalm 34:12-16 in chapter 3 of his first letter. He quotes David as he writes:

“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:10-12 (NIV)

Peter has been writing about responding to evil and insults with a blessing. Again, this is a difficult proposition, but we’ve got to remember that there is more than this life for which we are living. Yes, the temptation for revenge is great when we are wronged. But instead of taking matters into our own hands and repaying evil with evil, let’s let God fight our battles and let Him judge those who do evil. Our job is to keep our eyes on Jesus.

How To Repay Evil

When people mistreat you, what is your response? If someone insults you, what do you say in return? Peter tells us how to repay someone who is mean to us. He writes:

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. – 1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

Instead of revenge, we are to repay evil with a blessing. Say what? How is that even possible? How can we be expected to do that? If someone bops you in the nose, you want to bop them right back! The thing about revenge is that it is never an eye for an eye. It’s two eyes for an eye. We want to get revenge plus a little more. We want to teach them a lesson. Don’t mess with me! That’s not how a follower of Jesus should respond. God promises a blessing to those who repay evil with a blessing instead of revenge. God’s deepest desire is for people to be reconciled to Him. If you bless someone who mistreats you or insults you, you might win them over to Jesus. There’s much more at stake than your pride or hurt feelings.

Into Whose Hands?

Good Wednesday morning to you! When someone wrongs us, our human nature takes over and we want to get revenge on that person. We want to even the score or get back at them. That’s not what Jesus did, even to those who were crucifying Him. Peter wrote:

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. – 1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)

Rather than taking matters into His own hands, which He would have every right to do, He trusted God. He put His situation and His trust in His Heavenly Father. We need to do the same thing. When someone wrongs you, into whose hands will you place the situation? Will you take matters into your own hands or will you trust the Judge of everyone? Do you have enough faith in God to know that nothing escapes His knowledge or sight. The next time someone wrongs you, don’t seek revenge. Let go of the anger and trust God to handle the situation. How you respond will say more about you than how you were wronged says about them.

He Did Not Deserve It

In 1 Peter 2, Peter was talking about how slaves would sometimes be mistreated by their masters. Peter said that it was commendable by God when they would bear up under such suffering instead of retaliating. When talking about suffering, he writes about the example of Jesus. Jesus suffered unjustly and He did not retaliate.

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22   “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth. – 1 Peter 2:21-22 (NIV)

Jesus did not deserve the punishment He suffered. He went to the cross and suffered excruciating pain and humiliation for the sake of us all. He could have called down fire from Heaven to do away with His executioners, yet He did not retaliate. When we suffer unjustly, it is to our credit to bear up under it and not retaliate or seek revenge. Jesus is our example and if He could suffer even though He did not deserve it, we can learn to as well.

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