There are two sayings I know well because of hearing them many times. The first is said by children, in anger: “I’ll get even.” The second is said by adults, not in anger: “I don’t get mad; I get even.”

If there is any relative merit in these sayings, the badge goes to the first. A child’s anger does not last long, so the plan for revenge is soon forgotten. For the adult who meditates on revenge, the sin is bad and long-lasting.

There are two examples of the second case in fiction. The books are The Count of Monte Cristo and Ben Hur. In both, the “hero” seems to have an unlimited amount of time and an unlimited amount of money to exercise his revenge. There is another book which says something different about revenge:

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21).

This post coordinates with today’s reading in the To the Word! Bible Reading Challenge. If you are not in a daily reading plan, please join us. We would love to have you reading with us.