I’m about to suck the joy out of your favorite movies, TV shows, and books. I take no great pleasure in my task, but I would fail to teach the whole Bible if I didn’t address this topic: revenge.
I’m going to assume that you are not a serial killer, nor have you “done in” your spouse, best friend, or neighbor. Still, I think you may have a proclivity towards visceral pleasure from stories that use the lead character (protagonist) to deliver a “comeuppance” to an evil person.
Now you may defend yourself by saying that the defeat of evil is always worthy of an act by a believer in Christ Jesus. You may say that everything from “Die Hard With a Vengeance” to “The First Wives Club” is justifiable. This is where we part ways. Do you believe these words of Jesus?
“But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” Matthew 5:39
According to the footnote for this verse in the “ESV Reformation Study Bible,” in context, this verse means “do not seek restitution in court.” The slap on the right cheek is a backhanded one—an insult as well as an injury.
Nevertheless, when someone adds insult to injury to you, your response should be one of love – love barely notices a wrong (1 Corinthians 13:4-6). This does not mean that we are to tolerate all kinds of evil. Some wars are justifiable. Fleeing domestic violence is justifiable. Bringing a lawsuit against an ungodly law is righteous. However, when it comes to evil against us, we must remember the example that Jesus set for us in His crucifixion.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.Luke 23:34
God’s Word tells us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) and “For we know the one who said, ‘I will take revenge. I will pay them back.’” (Hebrews 10:30) Therefore, with Christ’s example, and God’s Word strongly admonishing us to allow God to deal out justice against anyone that commits even the slightest transgression against a child of His, let’s not secretly feed our desire for revenge by being entertained with stories that glorify it. Oh, and as a believer, God requires us to forgive; remember the Lord’s prayer – “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Sorry about this spoiler. I wrote this for myself but thought it might be good for you, also.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
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