The primitive ancient ones said (my Dad was particularly fond of saying) "an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth"; the negative reciprocity of schoolyard revenge. This is the wisdom of the world, and as a child, it made a lot of sense to me - but "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians 3: 19). Jesus told his followers to not resist, and then gave them a better way to resist: "If someone hits you, try to get them to hit you again." By such an act, we both gain control of the situation and expose them in a more publicly negative light. If someone is demanding, show them up with extravagant generosity.
Jesus taught them and us a vengeance of positive reciprocity! Give to all who take from you! Love all who hate you! Pray for all who curse you! The sun shines and the rain falls on good and bad alike - His grace goes where it will go. We too should shine on all. We too should let mercy fall on all.
All people love those who love them, and are kind to those who are kind to them - that is the human way. But the God-Way is a higher way. Be good regardless, and if you must take revenge, let it be the sweet revenge of goodness.
"If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads, and the Lord will reward you." Proverbs 25:21&22
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Paul reflecting on Proverbs 25:21&22 in Romans 12:20&21.
(photography by tiwago)