Read Romans 12:19-21
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. (NLT)
We often think that violence is all about physical assault, bombing or shooting or killing. But there is such a thing as verbal violence; our words can render others worthless and outcast. Manipulating or using others, labelling others in a derogatory way, these are violent processes even though no blood is shed.
We need a better way to resolve conflict and disagreements than the obvious and less obvious methods of violence. It is no surprise that Jesus and Paul both show us a better way that questions the accepted methods of those in power today and those who wish to exercise power. Martin Luther King puts it well:
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.