Justice is Not the Same as Vengeance

The world is a scary place, and not just because of the evil that happens. Everyone has an opinion and those opinions are hurled at whoever will hear them. We cry out for justice, but I feel like we have forgotten what that means.

Justice sometimes means mercy and understanding where vengeance means an eye for an eye.

Justice can be empathy and a second chance but vengeance makes assumptions.

Justice means remembering what the victim endured while vengeance attacks whoever we feel caused the problem.

Justice requires a cool head but vengeance is achieved swiftly.

Justice is an attempt to be fair while vengeance wants to be right.

Justice may not always be achieved but that does not justify vengeance.

These are just a few of the things I see happening now. Soon I expect to see people running by my house with pitchforks. Don’t get me wrong, horrific things are done. However, attacking the people who disagree with us will not achieve anything. All it does is divide us and open the door to hate.

God forbid anything ever happening to one of my children that I thought I could have avoided. I would live with the guilt for the rest of my life, so I wouldn’t need strangers heaping it on me. There doesn’t seem to be mistakes anymore. Instead, tragic events are avenues for vengeance.

Then there are the cases of violence against women. We know the perpetrator deserves a harsh punishment, but that punishment isn’t up to us. We elect officials to carry that out, which means we put it in their hands. Wishing horrible things upon them makes us look bad.

We can’t forget acts of terrorism that leave us reeling. We sometimes have a tendency to put the blame on someone: parents, country, spouse, laws, etc. It can be easy to forget that people lost their lives tragically and to speak out in fear. Thought out responses are always better. None of us will understand what led them to senseless acts, but we are better off holding our tongues.

What is appropriate when scary events occur? Praying for the families or survivors. Reaching out to loved ones and making sure they know how we feel. Helping those who need us, whether locally or globally. Reminding people of the good that is still in the world.  When all we see around us is sad or evil, we must be the good.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer mercy and justice to blind vengeance that isn’t even mine to take.

Linking with Holley Gerth

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4 thoughts on “Justice is Not the Same as Vengeance

  1. Yes, sometimes it seems the news cannot get any crazier. I’m down in Florida and we’ve been reeling as has the rest of our nation over the triple news stories of tragedy coming out of Orlando last week. But I also see many, many believers stepping up to help victims’ families, first responders and others in this tragedy. Good words today. Happy to be next door to you at Holley’s place.

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