Istvan Varga & Rozalia Makai website
REVENGE IS FORBIDDEN!
BY IRMA F. MATRAI
Somebody hurt me badly. My body, mind and spirit was crushed and I was longing for
someone to cause him the same type of anguish, he caused me; so that he may find out
how hurtful his action was for me, and – with a broken heart - confess his sin to me and
God; and ask for both of our forgiveness. That comprised my desire for revenge. In the
meantime, I had many questions and said many prayers. Finally - as I kept studying the
Bible - I realized that revenge is forbidden for Christians!
Then, what do I have to do to calm down? - I wondered.
Furthermore, why am I not
allowed to practice revenge? And how can I learn to be free from revenge?
What do I have to do to calm myself down, when someone hurts me? First of all, I
realized that I have to take my pain to Jesus; and he will calm me down. In Matthew 11:28
(NIV) we read: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
rest," and as I practiced that repeatedly, I received more and more peace. In addition, I
had to forgive my enemy; in spite of the fact that he never apologized. For, doing so, I
made sure that God will forgive my sins too, as Jesus taught us to say in Matthew 6:12
(NIV): "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" and: "For if you
forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if
you do not forgive their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Furthermore, I
needed to somewhat understand the person that hurt me, by remembering the many
trials and hardships, he went through in his childhood which may have influenced him to
become so mean. Then, when I worked through that too, I practically began to pray for
him, saying: "Father, forgive him, for he didn't know what he was doing." He didn't do it
in order to hurt me. Rather, because such were the terrible things he saw at home and
thereby became an easy target for Satan's temptations. All these things then, helped me to
slowly calm down to the point that eventually my pain was even gone.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
But why am I not allowed to practice revenge? - I was also wondering. Once again - while
studying the Bible - I realized that God in Leviticus 18:19 (NIV) warned us already:
"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your
neighbor as yourself." Furthermore, in Proverbs 24:29 (NIV) he recommended: "Do not
say, I'll do to him as he has done to me; I'll pay that man back for what he did." For, if
I want to obey God, I have to give up all revenge and anger. As a matter of fact, I found
that Jesus even went further when he asked us not only to stay away from retaliation, but
also to return kindness for evil, when he said: "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person.
If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone
wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well...
Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:39-44 NIV) Meaning,
that in case I want to be God's obedient child; I have to live up to this requirement of his
In addition, I realized that I have to stay away from revenge for the sake of my own
physical and spiritual health. For, when I forgive; I actually do a favor for myself,
because I calm down, and I receive peace. Thus, staying away from vengeance is
protecting me from loss of peace and/or physical ailments.
Furthermore, I found that I also have to stay away from revenge because - as God's
born again child - it is my responsibility to become more and more like Jesus.
According to Romans 8:29: (NIV) "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be
conformed to the likeness of his Son..." Therefore, since Jesus did not practice
revenge; neither should I.
But, how can I learn to be free from revenge? - I still wondered. First of all, by yielding
myself totally to Christ's Holy Spirit, who moved into my heart. In other words, by
deciding to always follow his will and leadership. Meaning that when he asks me to give
up a sin; do it immediately. When he sends me somewhere; go right away. When he tells
me to do something; do it. Then, live such and obedient life till the end of my life, so that
I may never backslide. For, it is heartbreaking to watch a Christian who used to be a
faithful servant of God, to become backslidden, and take back the rule of his life.
Finally, I realized that I may also learn to be free from revenge by sincerely studying and
following the example of Jesus. In other words, by looking up to him as it says in
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV): "...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so
easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix
our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him
endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow
weary and lose heart." Furthermore I noticed that when I considered Christ's relationship
with his tormentors, I had to conclude that - in spite of the fact that they caused him
unspeakable pain - he related to them with an attitude of mercy. For, he understood
their helplessness in the face of sin and temptation and therefore asked the Father to
forgive them for they didn't know what they were doing. Similarly, I too must
understand that the situation between my tormentor and myself is quite similar.
Namely, he too didn't know what he was doing, and why; because Satan blinded him.
Therefore, if he acted on the basis of ignorance, I can not be angry or hold grudges
Revenge is forbidden for God's children! - We said. Therefore when someone hurts us
badly and our Ego would like to repay; let us take our burden to the Lord in prayer instead;
and he will calm us down. Then, let us forgive him - whether he asks us to, or not - so
that we may receive peace, and God's forgiveness also. Furthermore let us constantly look
upon Jesus; as our example. So that we maybe able to avoid all kinds of spiritual or
physical hardships which may otherwise occur in our lives due to anger or revenge.
In closing let us pay attention to the words of 1 Peter 2:11-21(NIV):
"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from
sinful desires (like revenge), which war against your soul. Live such good
lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they
may see your good deeds and glorify God ...
For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant...But
If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God."