Avenge Not Yourselves
Romans 12: 19 Ė Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather †give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is† mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
To renew your mind to this commandment in the Word of God is perhaps the most rewarding and the most difficult accomplishment you may ever make. It seems to take forever for a Christian to APPLY this simple commandment of God. The god of this world is extremely tricky and deceiving in this area. He is very good at manipulating even the most mature Christian into seeking vengeance or revenge and justifying his or her actions as lining up with Godís Word.
IT IS NEVER RIGHT TO SEEK REVENGE. A spiritually sharp Christian will be able to avoid situations that may cause such agitation by avoiding people, places, and situations that anger a person to the point where they may break fellowship with God. When you strike back at your adversary IN THE SAME MANNER as he is attacking you, you are no better than that adversary himself. You have stooped just as low. The purpose of this teaching is so that you do not do exactly as I just described.
In Romans 12: 19 above, God clearly states that vengeance is His job. How this happens must be clearly understood. If God is all light and in Him is no darkness at all, then how can the true God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ seek vengeance?
I John 1: 5 -- This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
God is so just that He is even just to the devil himself. God allows† the enemy to bring tribulation upon a person who transgresses His Word. When a Christian gets out of fellowship by seeking and carrying out an act of revenge, he is then in the adversaryís ballpark. Things will start going wrong until that believer tells God he is truly sorry for his actions [i.e. broken fellowship] and gets back in fellowship and harmony with God.
I John 1: 9 -- If we confess our sins [broken fellowship], he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our† sins [broken fellowship], and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Now remember that SELF-DEFENSE is a Biblical concept. Donít confuse self-defense with vengeance. How do I self-defend myself against my personal adversary? Mainly, I avoid him at all costs unless I must deal with someone who God tells me has evil intentions or an overall evil heart. In this case, I am very careful and speak only what is necessary to accomplish my task. Get friendly with the world and you will find out what will happen. Stay close to your brothers and sisters in Christ who are daily renewing their mind to the rightly divided Word of God.
James 4: 4 -- Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity [in direct conflict] with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The strange thing about vengeance is that it initially makes you feel good. But later, you pay 10 times in a negative manner for the act of vengeance. There is no escape from Godís laws. I know this from experience. The adversary hates this web site because it teaches you Godís Word rightly divided and that is the only thing that will defeat him. He will do whatever he can to get me to sin and get out of fellowship. He has exhausted himself trying to provoke me to anger and to seek revenge upon people who have tried to hinder this ministry. A few times, he has succeeded and I felt myself pay the price. God says we will all sin at times, just make sure you tell God you are sorry for that sin and get back in fellowship. In fact, this revenge subject has been a weakness for me for many years due to the headstrong ways of my old man. It may take you a long time to learn this, but the smart man walks away from the temptation to seek revenge. LET GOD DO HIS JOB and do not interfere. I worked this subject into my renewed mind for year after year and finally I was able to line up my ACTIONS with Godís Word in Romans 12: 19. A great peace has grown within me and anxiety is practically gone. "If an evil person is evil, why should it affect you?"† A great and mighty woman of God once said this to me. It finally sunk in.
One of the warning signs regarding vengeance or revenge that may help you is when you are TEMPTED. WHEN YOU ARE TEMPTED, IT IS ALWAYS WRONG!
I Corinthians 10: 13 -- There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is† faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
It is easy to recognize temptation. Just ask yourself: "Am I tempted?" If you are, itís of the wrong god. Stop and move on. If you are about to seek vengeance of any type, you will always be tempted first. Then if you begin to take action, it seems to get easier to carry out an act of revenge. Satan will make it very easy for you.
Let me clarify a simple act of vengeance so we donít confuse how simple, but deadly, this problem can be. Vengeance is not only carried out in major ways, but the smallest and seemingly insignificant acts can provoke an act of vengeance.
Letís say a person makes a sarcastic remark to you about your work. You snap back with a similar remark. Thatís revenge! Your best Ďremarkí would be to SAY NOTHING. Satan hates silence in these situations. Then be thankful that you are not like that person who intentionally made a hurtful remark to you. Donít stoop to their level. That is what the enemy wants you to do. Thatís why he inspired someone to criticize you. Remember what the Word of God says:
I John 4: 4 -- Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
You should know these Scriptures by heart. I know almost 100 Scriptures by memory. Here is one of my favorites that greatly helped me to overcome any feelings to ever seek revenge upon anyone for any reason:
Psalms 70: 2 -- Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt [mentally].
That is what will eventually happen to people that hurt you. They will be ASHAMED and CONFOUNDED. They will be TURNED BACKWARD and PUT TO CONFUSION. Many so-called Christians are rather wishy-washy in many respects. I am going to share a Scripture in Proverbs that somewhat shocks some of these people. Too many Christians waste their time trying to bless an evil person. When you feel sorry for the adversary, he will melt your face. God says to bless the household of believers.
Galatians 6: 10 -- As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men,† especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Did you notice how the word "men" †is in italics? You should know if youíve studied this site that WORDS IN ITALICS ARE ADDED BY THE TRANSLATORS and are not† a part of the original Word of God. SCRATCH THE WORD "men" and now read the verse. Now you have the rightly divided Word of God. The King James Version is the only translation I know of that uses italics for words added by translators. That is why we recommend that you use this version. Sometimes the italicized word(s) are correct and sometimes they are not.
Remember, when you avoid evil people, it is often doing them good. They may wonder why that situation exists and try to change. However, the only thing that really changes a person is the Word of God rightly divided and applied. Try not to ever forget that. If a person does not want to learn the Bible, politely excuse yourself and move on or the enemy will do whatever he can to burn you out. If your heart is right with God, many times your first thought will guide you. I had to learn this by experience and it took many long years. You have the opportunity to learn this now. As I promised, let me quote that verse in Proverbs that stuns many do-gooders who try to work with evil people who have no intention of turning to Godís Word in their lives.
Proverbs 9: 8 Ė Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
In conclusion, NEVER seek revenge. Revenge is a tool of the devil. I can only think of one other very powerful verse and immutable principle from Godís matchless Word that will comfort and assure your heart regarding this subject. God began the teaching and He will end it. This principle works with a mathematical exactness and scientific precision every time.
Colossians 3: 25 -- But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.