Tag Archives: arguing

Retaliation, Revenge and Relationships

One of the hardest things for any of us is to not retaliate when someone wrongs us. Everything in us wants to hurt them as badly or worse than they hurt us. Consider any argument you’ve had, especially with someone you love. If we don’t like what they said (or how they said it), we take it as a personal attack, whether it was intended that way or not. Instead of defending our position, we retaliate with a personal attack. Very quickly the argument can escalate to something that is not even what the original comment was about. When our first response is to retaliate, we risk relationships. I think that’s why God wants us to do the opposite of what our natural inclination is.

If a relationship with Him is what He seeks, and we are to be known for our love (relationships), then we shouldn’t retaliate. Instead, God asks us to do the opposite of retaliation. He asks us to bless the person who attacks us. God understands that when we bless others back instead of retaliating, we preserve the relationship. I’m not saying this is easy to do, but if we understand God’s reasoning, maybe it will cause us to pause the next time we want to retaliate. When in doubt, bless others. How you respond could help change how they view Christians and ultimately God.

Here are some verses on not retaliating.

1. Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

1 Peter 3:8-9 NLT

2. Resist revenge, and make sure that no one pays back evil in place of evil but always pursue doing what is beautiful to one another and to all the unbelievers.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 TPT

3. Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.”

Romans 12:19 GNT

4. Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for his deed.”

PROVERBS 24:29 AMP

5. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

Romans 12:17 NLT

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

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Foolish Arguments

I used to love listening to talk radio. There was a local guy that I enjoyed listening to, but one day he switched his format. Instead of merely discussing news events, he decided to bring divisive topics each day and just let people argue. His show began to be about stirring up a hornets nest where no one could win, and it caused people to dig their heels into their position. It was no longer a place for dialogue and the show became something I no longer wanted to listen to. I’m guessing I wasn’t alone because it was canceled not long after that.

As Christians, we need to be careful that we don’t fall into that same trap. We don’t want to be known as people who argue over every little thing, especially to the point where we refuse to listen. At times, it feels like our goal is to win the argument rather than to win the lost. It’s one thing to have a dialogue with someone about why you believe what you believe, but another thing entirely to look for divisive arguments with others. We’re to be known for our love rather than our debating skills.

Paul warned Timothy about this in 2 Timothy 2:23-24. He said, “Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people” (NLT). That’s a challenge for you and me in today’s world. Everyone seems to be divided on everything, even in the Church. We’re not to go around and start fights, but to find a way to teach people the truth in a way that they’ll listen. What good is it if we win the argument, but lose the war for their soul? When we start from a place of love rather than trying to be right, we’ll find more open doors to share our faith.

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

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