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. Rom. 12:19
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice. Prov. 24:17
Merciful Father, I relish the taste of wasabi-kissed soft-shell crab sushi, of a seared-to-perfection rib eye steak, of fresh pistachio gelato dribbled with a few extra pistachios and a little hot fudge. But I also savor stories of revenge seasoned with spiteful retaliation and topped off with the gravy of extreme retribution---when the bad guy gets it even worse than he gave it. Alas, I am always in need of the gospel.
It's good to long for and to work for justice and to live for the day of ultimate justice. But I need and I must heed your warning to avoid a vengeful spirit like I would run from coiled rattlesnakes, toxic fumes, or E. coli-poisoned waters. Keeping a record of wrongs, rehearsing those wrongs, plotting how to even, all of these things come from the king of darkness and division, not the Lord of redemption and reconciliation.
No matter what the provocation---from a personal "dissing" to evil parading its hatred of beauty---you are telling me I have no right to revenge, no right to gloat when an enemy falls, no right to get back at or to get even with anybody.
I'm so glad you didn't "get even" with me, Father, for all the ways I rebelled (and do rebel) against you, for all the ways I've chosen my gain over your glory, for all the ways I've misrepresented you to the world, even to my own heart. You didn't get even; you got generous. Jesus got what I deserved and I got what I could never earn---your forgiveness and acceptance, favor and delight.
May the cross of Jesus keep me humble, patient, and expectant of the day of consummate justice. I don't want to waste one self-absorbed moment relishing personal revenge. Show me how to mount "love offensives"---repaying blessing for curse and good for evil. Write stories of humility and redemption that will startle many. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus' merciful and mighty name.