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Forgiveness or Revenge?

Updated on March 13, 2012

Is it better to Forgive or get Revenge?

Life is hard, and people can really hurt each other. We have all been hurt, and on top of that, we are later faced with a very hard choice. Should I somehow forgive this person, or can I get some kind of revenge for what they did to me or someone I love? Sometimes, when they hurt someone we love it is even worse.

First, let me encourage this idea. Don't just act act on feelings, and wait at least 48 hours before making a decision if you are in the thick of pain someone has caused you. You will be amazed at how much one's head can clear, and you can make a much better, less hurtful choice even to yourself.

After much consideration, studying the behavioral sciences, and observation of people, I have come to the conclusion that it is much better to forgive. Before you leave, if you were looking for a different answer, please consider my reasons below.

The 10 Best Reasons to Forgive Someone over Getting Revenge

1. The most obvious answer is not too satisfying when you are hurting, but here it is. It is the more moral choice. What is revenge, but exacting hurt upon another for having hurt you? There is some irony here that you don't want to miss. You are no longer the one that hurts, but hurts others as well.

2. Making the tougher choice shows a person with more moral fortitude and character. It is like letting a bully win, by making you get down in the mud with them, so to speak. Don't take the bait, as often there could be more going on. Be "above" that kind of activity, and remember the good things you were taught as a child if you were taught well.

3. Murphy's law - Just as it seems to go sometimes, the good guy can appear to lose when trying to make a point, or get some 'justice.' If you do something hastily, this could come back to bite you and make you look really bad, when the goal was to shine some light on the bad activity of another person, perhaps. Picture the good guy we have seen in movies being taken away unfairly in cuffs, while the bad guy is off laughing.

4. It clouds your thoughts with negativity. It takes some time and effort to consider revenge at all. Mulling over what someone did to you, or how wrong it was, is actually furthering what they did! Don't let them win in this way either.

5. Revenge can wreak havoc, or more havoc, in your life. Revenge can take a nasty twist, and hurt you and those you love even further. Be the person that stops a chain of negative, hurtful events, rather than one that exacerbates that problem.

6. It is the best chance there is for helping another person to see a better way of "being." Its possible that person has been hurt all their lives, and has never seen a person rise above or have the guts to show what power there is in forgiveness.

7. Forgiveness can be a revenge of its own, believe it or not! It will not be the goal, but can be sometimes be the end effect. People that hurt others, don't often expect a person to react with kindness, love, and forgiveness. It actually is way more powerful than the hurt they exacted onto another. People that have very bad intentions can't really handle the power that supersedes theirs when it comes to a person that doesn't give it back.

This is partly why Jesus and some others, made such an impact for all of history even until now. Choosing to forgive those that put him on the cross, even when he was up there, was the only thing that probably really got those people to think! His words echo today, and he "won." We see this played out in different books and movie themes as well. It is because it strikes a deeper chord in us that we know is true.

8. Healing will come in time if you choose to forgive, and you will be able to help other people going through genuinely difficult times. It means a lot to hear it from a person that went through something themselves.

9. Revenge doesn't really solve the problem anyway, and often leaves one feeling worse than before. Let the revenge fall to God, or fate, or karma. The idea that what goes around comes around, helps many people. God says to let revenge be his! Don't take matters into your own hand, "Revenge is mine, says the Lord." This also has helped many people. Its not a matter of if, but when.

10. Restoration. I have seen families restored, parents and children, brothers and sisters, etc., when someone chose to be the first to forgive. Life is too precious, and people are gone before we know it. People have often regretted not forgiving or saying sorry, but the opposite is not often true.

Things you can do while waiting to Feel Better

1. Take some solace and comfort in knowing you didn't deserve what was done to you. Feeling that pain doesn't give another any power over you, but its the best way to getting over it and moving on. So often people say, "move on," which is easier said than done. This can be a good first step.

2. Choose to think about other things, anything but this thing that can be so consuming. It is hard for a brain to truly be thinking about two opposite things at the same time, so choose something good. This will bring healing quicker. The second your mind goes back to the bad stuff, make yourself think better or distract from the bad.

3. Know, that in forgiving, you are not ever saying it was "OK" that they did something to you. Rather the opposite, they did something that is in need of forgiving, so that you can move on. That is all still on them.

4. Be apart from people that hurt or make your life very difficult, as soon as you can make that happen. Life is too precious and flying by to let the jerks get you down in life.

5. Be patient, there are many others in the world that are kinder people, and they are worth finding and waiting for! A rare gem! Be one of these people. You will attract the same types back to you.

6. Know that people that hurt, don't win in the long run. Their time will come.

7. Find a good person in the world or in your life, and focus on the good they have done and thank them if you can! Help promote good in this world, in this way. Truly good people often come under attack in different ways. While they often look so strong can be discouraged also at times. Your encouragement and promoting of something good can be more healing to others and yourself than you might have imagined. If it is a historical figure, the point remains as well. Write about them, or tell their story, etc. Turn your pain into promoting good and awareness.


Forgiveness Poll

Did you ever choose to forgive someone when it was the harder thing to do?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Anjili, your comment there is rather profound and I would agree. It is sad how life can be so full of vanity, and the next minute we could be looking at a dead man and get some quick perspective.

      Life is so precious. Life is so short really, even for the long lived lives! We can't possibly know what people are going through, so our judgements might best be reserved for when something is 100% sure and evil, or just left to God. Its true, that some people are not sorry for very grave evils they do. I hear what you are saying though, that in general, we deserve a second chance. Our lives are kind of filled with ongoing second chances, thanks to God.

      I appreciate your comment very much, thank you.

    • Anjili profile image

      Anjili 6 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      We live a life that is full of vanity. Man is vain in many was. Look closely at a dead man and you will never hold anything against other living beings. I always choose forgiveness for that is God's way. In all his pathetic states, man deserves a second chance.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Mary, I have the same thought as you there. I think you are right. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. :)

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      I think it takes a strong person to be able to forgive. A weak person would seek revenge. Just my thought....

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Katrine, I totally agree with what you say there about forgiving others. It is healing, sets you free, and shows your strength. I am happy you stopped by and read and commented, thank you.

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 6 years ago

      By forgiving you can set yourself free, and at the same time you are able to move on in a new direction, as well as show others that you are in fact stronger than them.