S: Romans 12:14-21
14Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don’t curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Don’t set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Don’t be wise in your own conceits. 17Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men. 18If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men. 19Don’t seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.” 20Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him.21Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
for in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
O: Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi once said, "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." Although he wasn't a Christian, he really caught the sentiment of this scriptural principle.
It's a natural for humans to want to take revenge, but this tends to end up with a cycle of violence. Generational feuds like the famous McCoys v.s. Hatfields, the Palestinians v.s. the Israelis, the Tutsis v.s. Hutus, etc. cause much misery and destruction.
Jesus told us to "turn the other cheek" and sometimes people protest, "But we have to protect ourselves." Yes, but to be consumed by vengeance will only bring destruction.
A: It's hard to implement, as it goes against our natural psychology, but God does want the best for us. What a testimony of the families of martyrs who forgave the killers, e.g. the Egyptian Christians who were martyred by Daesh.
In many cases, Christian forgiveness shown led the killers to the Lord. e.g. Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Peter Fleming's martyrdom and the subsequent forgiveness and witness of their families led the Huaorani "Auca" to Christ, and the martyrdom of an Assamese Christian family led their tribe to the Lord, and is memorialized in the song I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.
Indeed, as church leader Tertullian wrote in the second century, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church".
P: Father, it's hard to forgive when we've been wronged, so we ask for Your supernatural strength to do it. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)