In 1 Samuel 24, David refuses to take matters into his own hands and spares Saul’s life. In 1 Samuel 25, he leaves vengeance against Nabal in God’s hands also. In 1 Samuel 26, David again leaves Saul, who’s once again out to kill him, in God’s hands to deal with. When they find Saul asleep and his partner asks David’s permission to dispatch Saul with his spear, David says, “Do not destroy him …The Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish.”

Paul exhorts us with this truth in Romans chapter 12 as well. He writes (NKJV), “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “vengeance is min, I will repay,” says the Lord.

But Paul, following in the footsteps of Jesus, has more to say on the subject of how to treat those who hurt you in the same passage. He goes on, “Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink… do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Max Lucado writes, “Resentment is the cocaine of the emotions. It causes our blood to pump and our energy level to rise. But, also like cocaine, it demands increasingly large and more frequent dosages. There is a dangerous point at which anger ceases to be an emotion and becomes a driving force. A person bent on revenge moves unknowingly further and further away from being able to forgive, for to be without the anger is to be without a source of energy. Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner. Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist. Bitterness is the trap that snares the hunter. And mercy is the choice that can set them all free.”

“Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. …For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” Galatians 2:16