Is it wrong to get back at someone who's hurt you? A friend said some very hurtful things about me recently, and now I've found out something about her that would really embarrass her if I revealed it. My husband says to forget it, but I can't.


What you really want is revenge, and revenge is one of the most devastating sins we can ever commit. Throughout history, the hunger for revenge has caused wars, broken up families, and led to untold misery for countless millions. No wonder the Bible says, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).

Why is revenge so damaging? One reason is because it never solves anything. In fact, one act of revenge almost always leads to another, and then another and another. To put it another way, two wrongs never make a right. What your friend did was wrong, but striking back at her won’t result in anything good. In addition, your desire for revenge only creates anger and bitterness in your heart, and these are like a deadly drug, poisoning your soul.

Instead, I urge you to commit this situation — and your whole life — to God. Ask Him to show this person the wrongness of what she did and take away her desire to hurt others. Pray, too, for yourself, asking Christ to forgive your sins and to fill you with His love. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you… pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

In addition, ask God to help you see others the way He sees them, and to treat them with His love and compassion and grace. This is the path to true peace.

Read more from Billy Graham on forgiveness