Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Rom.12:19
The challenges of this life come to us from all directions. Most of the pain and hurt we experience are the results of our broken relationships—relationships with co-workers, friends, neighbors, government, school, and most importantly families. Sometimes those who are the closest to us hurt us the most, because they have a lot of power over us. We feel betrayed by lies, deceptions, broken promises, insensitivities, inattention, abuse, deaf ears, closed hearts, and at times vicious and wicked encounters.
The human reaction is to lash out at these times. We don’t want people to walk over us. We want them to know they are wrong. We want them to feel the same pain that they have caused us. We want them to know that there are consequences to their actions. We want them to be sorry for what they did to us and pay them back for their actions. Unfortunately, in such emotional situations, we don’t always act out of wisdom. More often than not, our lashing out makes the situation worse and brings us yet more hurt. At times it gives us an immediate and fleeting sense of satisfaction, but that doesn’t last for long. Besides, it never restores and reconciles us to the other party. It merely deepens the wounds.
That is why God is commanding us not to take revenge. He knows our shortcomings and our misjudgments. He knows that we are not a good judge of character, and that we do not necessarily know what works best with each person and in each situation. God wants us to leave the vengeance to Him. He knows how to discipline a person so that it can lead to repentance, restoration, and reconciliation, rather than deepening the wound. He knows exactly and precisely how to target a heart in a unique way far beyond our level of understanding. He knows how to make a person really feel the pain of what they have caused, without destroying them. That is why Proverbs 24:18 teaches us that if we rejoice in our enemies pains and falls, the Lord will turn away His anger from them and will not discipline them. It is only when we surrender the situation into His wise hands that He steps in and out of His abundant love teaches the person a lesson that they will remember forever!
Remember, dear one, our vengeance is always destructive for both parties; we will hurt ourselves in the process more than we can imagine. But the Father’s discipline is always covered in love; it is targeted, restorative, and effective. Trust Him and get out of the business of revenge!