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THE BOOK OF GOD'S PROMISES

Resisting Revenge

By J. Steven Lang

CBN.com --

"Revenge is sweet" -- in the world's view. It seems human -- all too human to retaliate when someone injures us. People gain pleasure sometimes from just planning revenge, even if they never carry it out. This is not only a waste of time and mental energy, but, more importantly, downright wrong.

Never seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD .

Leviticus 19:18

Don't say, "I will get even for this wrong." Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.

Proverbs 20:22

If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will roll back and crush you.

Proverbs 26:27

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.

Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, "I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it." says the Lord.

Romans 12:17-19

The classic statement on revenge is in Jesus' famous words in the Sermon on the Mount:

"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.' But I say, don't resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too. If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow.

"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemy! Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too."

Matthew 5:38-45

Christians have been persecuted from the New Testament days until now. It is hard to keep from hating the persecutor. But Paul, who had endured persecution himself, told the Christians to endure it patiently, without wanting vengeance:

God will use this persecution to show his justice. For he will make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering, and in his justice he will punish those who persecute you. And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-8

See also Anger, Hate, Enemies, Forgiving Others.

The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J. Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.

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