In James Brown’s hit single, The Big Payback, he says:
Got to, got to payback
Revenge, I'm mad
Got to get back, I need some get-back
When people do you wrong, talk about you, use you, betray you and abuse you – do you seek payback? Do you allow the need for revenge to alter the way you act, speak and think?
It is natural for us as humans to want to payback wrong for wrong. I know I did when I was falsely accused of a crime and seemingly lost everything – my freedom, reputation, and livelihood. I spent nearly two years wanting revenge on all those I deemed to have done me wrong. Simply put, I wanted payback.
What others have done to you may not be as traumatic as what I went through, but your feelings of resentment are the same. The spouse you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with may have walked out on you. The employer you gave so much of your time to may have laid you off. The family member you love may have taken some money from you. The best friend you shared your secrets with may have betrayed your trust. Whatever it is that has brought you to a place of anger, offense, hatred and revenge – let it go. It is not worth another tear, another sleepless night or another argument because what you want, only God can give you.
Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.” – Proverbs 24:29 ESV
What you want is to feel whole again. What you want is to feel loved again. What you want is to feel appreciated again. What you want is to be at peace again. Those who hurt you cannot give you any of those things you desire. No apology can replace the days you lost. No amount of money can replace the peace you lost. No restitutions can replace what was taken from you, but God can.
God knows what you lost, who betrayed and hurt you and He will repay you. He will give you beauty for ashes, joy for mourning and praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3). What God gives you may not come in the form of what you lost, but it will always be better.
“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so, you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” – Isaiah 61:7 NIV
So, do not take it on yourself to repay a wrong. Trust the LORD and He will make it right (Proverbs 20:22). God will restore you on this side of Heaven; you will not have to wait to receive your inheritance. Do not worry about those who hurt you, God will take care of them – just forgive and get yourself ready to sit at the table He is preparing for you in the presence of those who lied on, betrayed, stole from and harmed you.
“Don't be hateful and insult people just because they are hateful and insult you. Instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you.” – 1 Peter 3:9 CEV