“When a man takes revenge, he becomes equal to his enemy, but when he passes it by, he becomes superior to his enemy.”
This is the difference between seeking ‘justice’ and granting mercy. I think even Christians get drawn into this pattern of thought. Someone wrongs us, someone slights us, and we want justice. More than that, we want our dignity returned to us. We’re angry, we’re hurt, and we just want things set right. I think sometimes, people get their desire for justice confused with their desire for revenge. I know I do. Someone messes with me, and while I phrase my desire in terms of justice, what I really want is payback. The trouble is, I forget that Christ urged his followers to turn the other cheek. He Himself countered anger, bitterness, and personal slights with love, mercy, and compassion. It took a lot to make Him angry, and I know that I become angry all too easily and at the smallest personal injury. He was a man who died painfully, accused of some of the worst things, and yet He remained silent, speaking only to offer forgiveness. Vengeance is the Lord’s, and justice is His, as well, to mete out. I should content myself only in showing God’s love and tender mercies to those who hurt me, even (especially?) when it pains me further to do so. I mean, how else are we, as Christians, to make an impact on this world, if not in doing this?