Vengeance is a loaded word. It’s one that we often associate with feelings of anger, bitterness, and even hatred. And yet, the idea of vengeance is central to many religious traditions.

For Christians, the concept of vengeance is deeply intertwined with the idea of justice. In the Old Testament, God is portrayed as a vengeful deity, one who punishes those who do wrong. This image of God is carried over into the New Testament, where Jesus speaks about revenge in the context of personal injury.

But as humans and followers of the Lord, should we also seek vengeance for ourselves against those who wronged us? The bible tells us no. 

Instead of aiming to get back at others, we shouldn’t hold grudges and let God handle our enemies instead. It’s an acknowledgement that there is a higher power at work in the world and that ultimately justice will be served. These bible verses prove that we shouldn’t take vengeance in our own hands because God’s judgment will be the greatest revenge:

Romans 12:19 NIV

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,” says the Lord.

Matthew 5:38-39 NIV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

2 Thessalonians 1:6 NIV

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.

Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Leviticus 19:18 NIV

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Deuteronomy 32:35 NIV

It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
    In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
    and their doom rushes upon them.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

1 Samuel 24:12 NIV

May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.

1 Thessalonians 4:6 NIV

And that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.

Ezekiel 18:20 NIV

The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.