Somebody said, “People do odd things to get even.” Ever wanted to “get even” with someone? A man noted for his tact was awakened one morning at 3 a.m. by his ringing telephone. An angry neighbor on the other end said, “Your dog’s barking and keeping me awake.” The man thanked his caller for letting him know and politely asked his name before hanging up. The next morning at 3 a.m. he called his neighbor back and said, “Sir, I don’t have a dog.” The Bible speaks to the widespread human desire to retaliate and seek to “pay back in kind” in a very direct and sobering way in Romans 12:17-21 – “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” The passage reveals God’s radically different way to respond to personal injustices and slights, whether actual or only perceived. Those who belong to Christ are not to “get mad, then get even.” The Lord commands us to “kill our enemies with kindness.” I find the Bible’s consistent directness and honesty sobering but also uplifting. Here, the Holy Spirit of God moved the apostle Paul to admit Christians can encounter “enemies” here on Planet Earth.” Some Christians need to wake up to the fact Satan has declared war on God and His Word and His children (1 Peter 5:8 * Revelation 12:17). Scripture declares that many people live as “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18). Don’t be shocked if you suffer mistreatment. Evil seeks to overcome good the only way it knows how — by creating and maintaining hatred and hostility and heating revenge till its red-hot, then pouring it out on those it hates in warfare, verbal and otherwise. Don’t become evil to repay evil. Remember, there is a God, but you are not Him.
As Christians, when someone offends us, we can “get all bent out of shape” and seek to “fight fire with fire.” We can “ape” the world and burn with anger and actively seek to say and do back what others do to us, or at the very least allow our Christian love to grow cold. The troubling thing is it can happen over slight and lightweight things if we are overly–sensitive. God wants you to destroy your enemies — not by blasting those who blast you, not by being overcome with evil, but by overcoming evil with good. But that’s a weak approach you say? Really? Look at Christ on the cross. There evil and injustice was heaped upon Him by His enemies in ways and to an extent that numbs our minds. But the people who blasphemed and ridiculed and abused God’s Son that day did not crucify an angry, bitter, vengeance- seeking man. We might say that at the cross Jesus practiced what Paul preached in Romans 12. He sought to destroy His enemies by killing them with kindness. He prayed on the cross God would forgive His tormentors (Luke 23:34). I submit to you that Jesus overcame evil that day in the only way evil can be overcome — with good. Let God be God and you be you. If you must get even, do it God’s way!