Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
This is one of those verses that I read and think, “Well, of course.” But then I think, “This is completely against my nature.” There is nothing in me that wants to act this way. When I am wronged, treated badly, something unfair happens, my go to move is to let everyone know about it. “I have been WRONGED!” This is followed rapidly by an irrepressible desire to fight at all costs to pay back the one that has done me wrong. Justice must be served, and I am here to administer it!
Here, Paul is calling people to strive to live in peace even with those working against you. It turns out I’m not qualified to administer vengeance. I act out of hurt and I’m likely to do evil to those that do evil. That’s not the way God is going to make the world work. This verse is a call to trust God, not just with salvation, but with justice too. God will ultimately deal with evil. With his help we will fight against evil now, but our fight must be for peace, not vengeance. Memorize this.