Is revenge ever justified? - Revenge - TouchPoints

Is revenge ever justified?

Leviticus 19:18Never seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone, but love your neighbor as yourself.

Proverbs 20:22Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

Proverbs 24:29And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for all their meanness to me! I’ll get even!”

Taking personal revenge is clearly forbidden by God.

Luke 6:27-36Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you . . . when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do for others as you would like them to do for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:15See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else.

Matthew 5:38-45If 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.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.

1 Peter 3:9Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.

Not only is personal revenge wrong, but God asks us to repay evil with good.

Romans 12:17, 19Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable . . . 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.

Nahum 1:1-8he sweeps away his enemies in an overwhelming flood . . .

God’s vengeance is not to get back or get even, but to administer righteous discipline and judgment.

Lamentations 3:59You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord. Be my judge, and prove me right . . .

Leave ultimate justice and revenge to God.

Deuteronomy 19:18-21Your rule should be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Matthew 5:38-39“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.”

Exodus 21:23-25But if any harm results, then the offender must be punished according to the injury. If the result is death, the offender must be executed. 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. Similarly, the payment must be hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

The often quoted “eye for an eye” verses are not an excuse for, nor are they a rule for, personal revenge. This principle wasn’t established to exact revenge, but rather to make sure the punishment fit the crime. If justice was to prevail, it was necessary that a person neither got off the hook for a crime, nor was punished too severely. An “eye for an eye” was actually a breakthrough for justice and fairness in ancient times because it prevented arbitrary punishment. Revenge is nothing but arbitrary justice. There is no indication that this verse was meant to be taken literally. In fact, in Exodus 21:26-27, if a slave’s eye or tooth is knocked out he can go free. The point is that the severity of the punishment should fit the severity of the crime.

Hebrews 10:30-31For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Revelation 18:20But you, O heaven, rejoice over her fate. And you also rejoice, O holy people of God and apostles and prophets! For at last God has judged her on your behalf.

Romans 12:19Dear 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.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10in his justice he will punish those who persecute you . . .

We do not have to take vengeance into our own hands, for God will judge and punish all wickedness.

Romans 12:17-21One wrongdoing never justifies a second.

1 Peter 2:21-27He did not retaliate when he was insulted . . .

Jesus is your example of refusing to take revenge against those who mistreat us.