(Retribution And Revenge)
DEFINITION: Vengeance–retribution or revenge–is the infliction of injury, harm, humiliation or punishment in return for an injury or offence.
FACTS ABOUT VENGEANCE:
God forbids revenge. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).
Vengeance is God’s responsibility. It is a function that God alone is to execute (Romans 12:19). When you take matters into your own hands and seek retribution, you are trying to assume God’s authority.
Revenge does not bring closure. It does not help you forget the wrong you suffered and it does not help you heal emotionally or spiritually. True healing from wrongs suffered cannot be attained when you are violating God’s Word by seeking or executing revenge.
You are to love your enemies. God’s strategy for dealing with someone who wrongs you is to show them love and compassion (Luke 6:27) and seek to resolve offences (Matthew 18:15-16).
DEALING WITH VENGEANCE:
Ask God for forgiveness. If you have had vengeful thoughts, sought, or taken revenge, ask God to forgive you because you have violated His Word.
Ask God to give you love for the offender. This is not something you can generate on your own. It comes through God’s power and the Holy Spirit being manifested in your life.
If you have taken revenge, seek forgiveness. Ask the one upon whom you took revenge to forgive you. Follow the guidelines of Matthew 18:15-16.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT VENGEANCE:
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice. (Proverbs 24:17)
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you. (Proverbs 25:21-22)
You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38-39)
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. (Luke 6:27)
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)
When they hurled their insults at him (Jesus), he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)