“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 bless you for it.” 1Peter 3:9 (New Living Translation) Can I tell you that trying to follow this scripture can be one of the hardest things in the world to do at times. Especially when you feel like you’ve taken all that you can take. Believe me, I know. But the bottom line is that returning evil for evil may feel good at the time but it really isn’t good for you overall. In fact, the more you get comfortable doing it, the more that you begin to become the very thing that you once tried not to be. I am mentioning this today because yesterday I had a conversation with a friend of mine and I was angry. I told this friend that I was tired of doing the right thing for someone and they constantly do the wrong thing in return.
General society may say that you should return to people that which they give to you, but I want to challenge you to rethink that. If you take a look at where we are as a society in the United States, we went from being a large community that always helped each other to a competitive landscape for the rich to get richer and the middle class to become poor, and the poor to become impoverished. We went from confronting the “evil” that we saw in society to condoning it (be it by permission or omission) because it has become profitable. Here’s the truth, returning evil for evil may bring a short term profit or pick me up for your emotions, but it will do more long term damage then it will ever do good. Making a habit of returning evil for evil is like a cigarette habit; you know it’s bad for you and you don’t mind doing it until you get lung cancer and then are looking for a cure for something you could’ve prevented in the first place by simply not engaging in the habit.
So as hard as it may be, do your best to not return evil for evil, hatred for hatred, and disrespect for disrespect. It’s best to return good for evil, but just because it’s the best thing to do doesn’t mean it will be the easiest thing to do, at least not at first.