“Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.” – Proverbs 20:22 (ESV)
Humans love to take revenge. Whenever we feel wronged by someone else, the desire for revenge becomes an unquenchable thirst. How many times have we caught ourselves plotting ways to make the person who has slighted us suffer? Such emotions arise out of our sense of justice. It is natural to feel indignant when we have been unfairly mistreated and it is natural to seek redress. Likewise, it is natural to feel enraged by the injustice that seems to plague our world. These things break the heart of God as much as it breaks us; perhaps even more so because He is a just God who cannot bear the presence of injustice in His creation.
However, because of our fallen nature, our pursuit of justice can easily turn into revenge. It is at this point where we forget the other attributes which God has given us such as love, mercy, and compassion. All we want to see is the accused party suffering and squirming under our retribution. Is this attitude right? Often, revenge has an ironic way of making people commit the same acts done against them with as much force and malice. In the manner, the wronged party is no better than the accused. Justice, instead of pursuing the cause of fairness and impartiality, becomes increasingly subjective and unnecessarily harsh. This is why justice should be left to God. He, being by His nature just, is bound to be impartial and He sees that every man has been sinful and deserves death. No one is holier than the other. But in His love, He sent Himself to pay the penalty for sin so that justice may be served and that those who believe in Him may be restored. It is not humanity’s place to take revenge because no man can claim to be a perfect judge. Therefore it is best to wait upon God and He will deal with the offender. He will vindicate the oppressed; there is no question about that. But it is important to remember than even the oppressor needs to hear the message of God’s love, and this should be enough to compel the believer to act with mercy towards those who have hurt them.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.