We see the deadly effects of sin over the course of peoples’ lives. Temptations are designed to attack us from every side. Typically, this takes hold when certain emotions overwhelm our better moral judgment. Take anger for example. Like other feelings, we naturally get angry at times. There is nothing wrong with temporary frustration but we should try to keep it to a minimum since the Lord tells us to be slow to anger. Anger towards an unjust action committed against either you or someone you care about can lead to a very deadly sin: revenge.
Revenge can consume you and your moral discernment. I believe that in certain situations it is almost impossible to avoid. Let’s say, God forbid, someone murders or rapes your child or wife. It would take a lifelong spiritual fortitude to deny yourself from attempting to kill that person, much less forgive them. I honestly do not know if I have the ability to forgive someone for that truth be told if I was ever in that serious of a circumstance. Because I am a morally grounded person who doesn’t commit offenses against people, it makes it difficult to handle dealing with a situation where someone wrongs you. As I get older, my patience does grow though.
Here is what the Lord says about revenge:
Deuteronomy 32:35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”
Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Although it is tough to make the logical choice to abstain from revenge in the heat of an angry moment, we can all agree that if we let the Lord exact revenge on our enemies, they will suffer a hundred fold more than what we could exact against them. The omnipotent wrath of God will usher in justice for all offenses. The surrogates of evil principalities that seek to deceive the masses fill me with a great deal of indignation, but it is not for me to act upon: the Lord will.
Finally I want to cite a real world example I came across to solidify this point. A young man named Logan worked with a crew of forklift operators for years. One of the guys on the team never got along with anyone. He was a very reckless driver and had a lazy work performance. On top of that he wasn’t very nice either. One day the guy hit Thomas’ forklift while he was on it. The guy never apologized and it frustrated Thomas. Both of their tempers were flaring as they argued back and forth at each other. The guy told Thomas to shut up or he was going to fight him. Thomas decided to shut up because he valued his job more than escalating the situation any further. Because Thomas abstained, about 3 months later the guy was fired for damaging expensive company equipment by accidentally running into without looking where he was going.
If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. The situation was resolved on its own by God. Obviously He didn’t make the guy damage the equipment, but He knows that in due time, their foot will slip. When it comes to personal confrontations you face with people, it is imperative that you abstain from repaying evil with evil. If Thomas had ended up fighting the guy, he would’ve been fired as well. Revenge is self-destructive. Forgive when it is possible. If you cannot, trust the justice system to take care of things or God Himself for matters that are not dealt with by the courts.