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Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:17-19

Read: Romans 12:17-19
Listen: Romans 12


Jeremiah turns to the Lord and asks for vengeance. He knows his cause is just, and his punishments are not. He is hurt and wants the wrongdoers to be held responsible. However, instead of getting revenge himself, he appeals to the justice and character of God to make things right. In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul tells his readers to do the same. He tells them to do what is right, not to repay evil for evil and to leave room for God’s wrath. The Apostle Paul and Jeremiah seem to have the same trust in the character of God. Both believe God is the ultimate judge who will make things right and bring justice.

When we are hurt, we’re in precarious space. Our most natural response is often a desire for revenge. We exact revenge with our words, actions or silence. We want that person to pay for what they did and experience the hurt that we experienced. The desire for justice is good, and if applicable, we should create healthy boundaries and bring in the proper authorities (HR, the police, etc.). However, this passage speaks to our sinful hearts and demonstrates the importance of guarding our hearts when hurt. It challenges us to release our desire for revenge and to trust in our God to bring true and lasting justice.


Where do you need to release a desire for revenge? Pray and ask God to help you to release your desire for revenge. As you do, remember that this is often not a one-and-done. This might be something that you need to keep doing. Consider asking a friend to help encourage and support us as we open our hearts and try to release revenge.


Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.

September is COMMUNITY. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.