"Too hot to handle"

It's hard to imagine that a guy would choose to blow his apartment to smithereens. Still, it happened in Lisbon, Portugal, as a man did just that, collapsing part of the 5-story building where he lived.

The mad-bomber had recently been evicted, and according to a fireman who responded to the subsequent blaze, "He had threatened neighbors that he would blow up the place if he ever got kicked out."

Revenge, like fire, is nothing to mess around with, it's too hot for us to handle. That's why God tells us, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back" (Romans 12:19). When we're in payback mode, we hold up the wrong done to us as the excuse for hurting others. Samson did this when his Philistine father-in-law gave his wife away to another man. Infuriated, he declared, "This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines" (Judges 15:3).

Samson then had a teensy bout of pyromania. He gathered 300 foxes, tied their tails together in pairs, attached a torch to each carnivore couple, and set them loose in the Philistines' grain fields.

Unfortunately, revenge breeds more revenge. In retaliation, the Philistines "went and got [his wife] and her father and burned them to death" (v.6). When Samson found this out, he vowed, "I won't rest until I take my revenge on you [Philistines]!" (v.7). He attacked them once more before ending up as a lonely bachelor with a cave for a home address.

When we try to settle the score, we often hurt ourselves and our loved ones along with the people we target. That's why believers should "never pay back evil with more evil" (Romans 12:17). It's too dangerous. Instead, we're supposed to leave the hot coals of revenge in the hands of our righteous God. , Jennifer Benson Schuldt, Our Daily Journey

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