When we try to get even with someone for a wrong done to us, we hurt our neighbor and ourselves. Revenge is not something a Christian should do to another brother and sister Christian. Old Adam's ethic is "Repay evil for evil." "Vengeance is mine!" "Curse those who curse you, and hate those who hate you." The new man in Christ directs his anger towards God, as the psalmist writes: "Be angry, and don't sin."

When someone does wrong to us, we direct our anger toward God. We lift up the person and the wrong he's done to us to our God. It is the Lord who says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" (Rom 12:19). The reason we do this is that God knows what goes on in a man's heart. God knows our neighbor and us better than we know ourselves. And, ultimately, our Creator knows best how to handle the situation when his creatures fall victim to the temptation to become angry and sin against each other.

We must also remember that our enemy is a creature of God. He is someone for whom Christ Jesus died. He is a sinner just like any other, no more or less selfish than us.

When we perceive that someone has done wrong to us, we are directed by God to keep in mind that the Lord commands us to, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt 5:44).

We may be angry, frustrated, and crave revenge, but we must also remember that our enemy is a creature of God. He is someone for whom Christ Jesus died. He is a sinner just like any other, no more or less selfish than us. When we deny this, that we are just as capable of evil as our neighbor, we open the door to sin. In our need for revenge, we may even commit a worse evil than the wrong done to us. We are sinners. We are all capable of doing hurt and harm to each other for all the right, self-justifying reasons.

That is why we pray for our enemies. We also pray for ourselves, that God would give us the strength to forgive them. Likewise, when they are enemies of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we also pray for their conversion. We must because the alternative is too hellish to imagine.

The enemies of Christ Jesus can't see that they do not fight against flesh and blood but against the Lord and his anointed. When people do wrong to those who preach Christ crucified for the sin of the world, they have made themselves enemies of God. Their cause is not to destroy the Church, silence the gospel, or persecute Christians. On the surface, this may appear to be the case, but the underlying truth is that anyone who attacks and afflicts the Body of Christ, God's word, and his children have declared war against their Savior God.

We pray for the enemies of Christ, even when they mock us for our prayers. We pray the Lord's Spirit would open their eyes to the truth, translate them into the Christian faith, and save them God's furious anger and judgment. We pray to promote the cause of the Lord, who calls us to do all things in love. It is love that embodies a Christian's "revenge" against his enemies.

Amid our Savior's affliction, he loved all us sinners to the end, especially his enemies.

When we love our enemies as ourselves, we pour hot coals of judgment on their heads, as Jesus has taught us (Rom 12:20). So we do not dedicate ourselves to getting even with those who have wronged us. Instead, we ask our heavenly Father to conform us to Christ Jesus, who was oppressed and afflicted by his enemies even though he never wronged anyone.

Amid our Savior's affliction, he loved all us sinners to the end, especially his enemies. "He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isa 53:2) Therefore, in this Love, we pray for the strength to love our enemies as ourselves, and pray for their conversion when necessary, always remembering that the Lord is our defense and refuge in the midst of surrounding evil. In oppression and affliction, our Lord Jesus will show us, true love, through his gospel and gifts of salvation. He will give us the strength to pray for those who have done wrong to us. He will lead us to forgive our enemies with the forgiveness Christ Jesus graciously gives us.