Proverbs 20:21-30 – Revenge is Not the Answer

Read Proverbs 20:21-30

Have you ever been wronged by someone? I think all of us have at some point in life. It never feels good to be hurt by a friend or even a stranger. What happens next will define us. Do we rush to get even? Or, do we only dream of sweet revenge? How do you react when you are the target of slander and lies?

For me, I always want to set the record straight. I’m so afraid of what people think of me. Yet Solomon’s wise counsel is this, “Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.” Are you kidding me? How can I do that? We might think we look weak if we don’t fight back. But on the contrary, we are much stronger when we are able to bite our tongue and just take the lashing, trust that God has our backs.

God sees it all. He knows our hearts. He sees us hurting, and he knows why. How much integrity do we bring to this situation? We need to rely on this promise that the Lord will handle the matter. It may be in a way we don’t see. We need to be okay with that.

If we are struggling to let go and let God handle something, we need to pray for peace. We may even have other people questioning why we aren’t doing anything. What a testimony to be able to say that we are choosing to take the high road and let God handle the matter. People will be amazed by that, impressed by that behavior. So will God.

There are plenty of battles we need to fight while we live on this planet. Getting even by seeking revenge is not one of them. I like what 1 Peter 3:9 has to say, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” We should perhaps focus on blessing those who have wronged us. Imagine the stir that would cause! It might even cause the one who wronged us to ask for forgiveness. A relationship might be restored.

Leviticus 19:18 brings it home. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Take some time today to think about a relationship you may have that has been tarnished or even destroyed. Have you let God work it out? Have you tried blessing or loving that other person?

Let’s pray … Lord, forgive me for my tendency to always want to fix things. You are the ultimate peacemaker. I pray for you to be at work in my broken relationships. Help me to be more loving toward those who have hurt me. May I forgive them. Thank you for how you are handling things even if I cannot see. Help me stay strong and never lash out in anger seeking revenge. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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