Do NOT Retaliate

“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 3:9

As hard as it is to hear and to apply the above passage, it isn’t a suggestion. It’s a command and an important one at that.

It is a natural human reaction to try to retaliate against those who do evil things to us and may even be excused from a world’s point of view but against God and His expectations for us. It’s hurtful when people say mean things about you. Trust me, I understand. However, we are told not to repay evil for evil. In fact, the opposite is expected for us to do. We are to bless them. This command is attached to a blessing. If we repay evil with good, we will be granted God’s blessings. I want the blessings, and so I will walk the talk.

I don’t know who is reading this today and you have been lied about and mistreated. I know the pain and hurt caused by this. However, we are not to retaliate in insulting and hurting anyone back. Folks, I’m so scared of God and what He might do to me that I refuse to even think about hurting someone else. My plan of action is simple. I totally move away. I avoid those who purposely hurt me. In doing so, I avoid all possible situations that would arise to cause me to sin along with them.

I asked my board of directors, regarding a situation. “Why is this happening? How can it be? I don’t understand. Have people lost their common sense?” Their wise reply was, “Don’t you understand people love gossip? They love to find fault in leadership, they get high on juicy gossip. They think they got you doing something wrong. They don’t know the whole picture. They prefer to believe the worst rather than stopping the gossip and being led of God in promoting healing and guiding the person into repentance.”

I said to them, “I do understand all you are saying, and I even agree. But it’s not making me feel any better. Then, I saw this passage, it was like the light bulb went on. Last part of this passage says, “...And he will grant you his blessings.” You see, it’s all about obedience. God expects us to obey and do what He says. He said do not repay evil for evil. There’s the command right there. If we missed this part and didn’t get it. He goes on to spell it right out for us. Don’t retaliate by acting like them. Right, that is already difficult to do. However, He doesn’t end it there. He goes on to say, “Pay them back with a blessing.” He ignores mentioning the word “Evil” in His command as if the evil they are doing isn't important. He says, “Pay them back with a blessing.” The next logical question is, “How do we repay with good?” I honestly struggled with this. Finally, I understood.

God is interested in our attitudes and actions. He is always going after our character. This means, you and I do not fight back by attacking their sins. We let them talk. We let them tell their version of what happened. We