The latest issue in South Korea is “school violence.” Although there was some violence in school before, this kind of crime is becoming more intelligent and devilish according to the pattern of this society. So, we can no longer consider ‘school violence’ as a growing pain. ‘Glory’ is a popular drama that describes ‘school violence’ in South Korea now. It was about a victim of school violence who took revenge after preparing himself for a long time. This kind of drama shares a message of ‘winding punishment’ and helps the viewers to feel catharsis. But the Bible does not encourage us to take revenge on those who harm us.
Romans 12:21 says, “do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” As long as we live in this world, we’re going to encounter evil because good and evil coexist. In other words, we will have no place to live if we try to avoid all evil. This was the reason why Paul encouraged us to resist evil instead of avoiding it. He also said in Romans 12:14, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Isn’t it too difficult to obey this kind of command?
On March 8, a group of men were prosecuted after gaslighting a woman for the last three years. They made 5 million dollars by selling her 2,500 times as a sex-slave. It was even worse to find out that one of those men was her husband. He forced his wife into prostitution so he could use the money to pay his financial debts and for entertainment expenses. Why then does our Lord discourage us to condemn these wicked people? Moreover, he told us to bless them. It is because we can become the same kind of wicked people when we pay back evil for evil.
Just as love transcends logic, hate transcends logic. Just as we cannot explain why we love in many occasions; we often can’t explain why we hate. But these two different feelings can bring completely different results. Although love builds everything up, hate destroys everything. When we hate someone, we’re actually destroying ourselves first. That’s why ‘resentment’ is considered as poison. Therefore, one must overcome the feeling of hatred if they want to be happy. God said it like this in Romans 12:19, “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,”
Why can’t we pay back evil with evil? The act of revenge itself is a stretch of authority. It is only God who can judge us for good and evil. This is the reason why we must wait and let God take revenge on our enemy on our behalf. Moreover, we are called by God to bless those who hurt us. God said in Deuteronomy 21:15-16, “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” So, while we can say that blessing or cursing does not depend on other people, it does depend on our obedience to God’s Command.