Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you. – Proverbs 20:22
One my favorite movies is from the early 1980’s. It’s a science fiction film, the second one from the original series of Star Trek films, The Wrath of Khan. In the movie, one character, Khan, is totally consumed by revenge of a perceived injustice done to him many years earlier. Khan makes a comment, which was adapted from a Shakespeare play….
“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
Revenge is a common Hollywood theme because it is all too common an emotion for us. When we are hurt by someone we often have a desire to “settle the score” or we might say, “get even.” Real life and Hollywood have so little in common and things almost never work out with us righting the wrong done to us. But we do love those movies where the wrongs are righted!
So the question remains, how do we handle this desire to get even, to right the wrong?
I remember hearing very long ago that God always does a better job defending me than I do. I can force my way to justice or chose the route proposed by King Solomon. Let the LORD deliver me.
I can’t say I’ve always followed this wisdom. In fact, I’ve probably caused way more damage trying to right the wrong done to me as opposed to letting God resolve the issue. Because I tend to want revenge, but God is interested in grace.
That doesn’t mean everyone just gets away with whatever they’ve done and in no way does this remove justice that comes from the legal system. But revenge is not part of justice, nor is it part of God’s character.
When I let God resolve those issues in His way, most often He administers His justice and my deliverance in quite unique ways. Plus, I have the added blessing of not needing to worry about it. Which means we have a win-win situation! He delivers us and we don’t need to spend time plotting our revenge!
This is not forgiveness, but I think it is one of the steps to that goal. This is willingly stepping back from your right to revenge and let God work out your deliverance. Oh you probably will have involvement at some level, especially if there is restoration involved, but giving up your right for revenge and letting God deliver you is freeing and I think it’s a very practical demonstration of God’s grace.