Do not testify against your neighbor without cause—would you use your lips to mislead?
Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.” Proverbs 24:28-29
These verses certainly go against the grain of the world, don’t they? We may not verbalize it, but we certainly are guilty of thinking it (and our actions sometimes follow suit.
So, how are we supposed to grin and bear it, so to speak, when everything around you is telling you to get even and fight back?
Well, I’m not sure you’ll like this answer (because I certainly don’t!) but the Bible also provides us with its wisdom on the subject, this time from the New Testament:
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
It’s certainly not the kind of wisdom that I would have had on the matter. Thankfully.