4 Reasons Why Revenge Will Only Do Us More Harm Than Good


Mahatma Gandhi once said, "An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind."

The hunger for justice can sometimes lead us to seek out revenge whether in our own hands or the hands of fate, karma, or whatever means to get back at someone who might have done us wrong.

But the Bible is clear on our parameters for revenge: We should stay away from it. Romans 12:19 commands us, saying, "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"

When God commands us to stay away from something, it's because He knows that that thing will only do us more harm than good. Revenge may try to promise us sweet victory and satisfaction in the end, but the returns will not be what we would like it to be.

Here are four reasons why revenge will only create more problems than solutions for us.

1. Revenge Actually Makes Us Feel Worse

A study by Kevin Carlsmith done with students through an investment game where a group loses money unjustly, showed that when those who were cheated on took the chance to retaliate, it actually made them feel worse.

This, according to Carlsmith, is because of ruminations that come with vengeance. When we take revenge, we ponder on the occurrence and thus on the emotions, but when we let the offence slide, we let go of the experience and forget the feeling much faster.

2. Bitterness Builds a Root of Problems in Our Life

Hebrews 12:15 tells us, "See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no 'root of bitterness' springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled." Bitterness is the motivation of vengeance. With bitterness, according to the Word of God, comes trouble and defilement.

When we go for vengeance, we allow problems to take root in our life: ruined relationships, stress, health issues, and other problems resulting from a bitter heart.

3. We Veer Off God's Better Plans

We are reminded that vengeance is the Lord's, and we are to trust Him to restore what we might have lost when people maligned us. But vengeance tells us to take matters into our own hands and often even leave His master plans and create opportunities of our own to get the justice that we think we need so badly.

4. It Burns Bridges

The truth is that almost every relationship will have an offence at one point or another, even the ones that are key to us: marriages, family, business partnerships, ministry friendships and the like. Where does revenge draw the line? If we were to seek revenge even in these key relationships, it would burn bridges that are far too important to lose.

Is losing a friendship, marriage or partnership really worth having justice? Or would we rather rely on the grace of God for healing and restoration to come with time and patience?