On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20
It seems like the prevailing thought in our culture is that if someone wrongs you, that you should make sure he pays for it. The punishment can take many forms; shame, guilt, public disgrace, or some will turn the tide and envoke fear in their enemy.
There’s something about watching Jesus with the woman caught in adultery that seems to fly in the face of this mentality. Everyone else was either armed with a stone to throw or waiting to watch the punishent be served, but Jesus showed compassion, kindness, mercy, and grace; he took the eyes of everyone off of the woman and onto Himself and then sent everyone else away. Perhaps even more countercultural to today’s way of thinking, was Jesus’ forgiveness that He showed on the cross, when people were hurling insults at Him, yet He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
If we are followers of Christ then this type of forgiveness should be our response. I realize that a lot can get lost in translation with the metaphors in this verse, but the message couldn’t be more clear: rather than pushing shame, guilt, public disgrace, or causing your enemy to fear, show him the compassion, kindness, mercy, and grace of the One we follow. He may not need food or drink, but forgiveness might just be what changes things for him.
Spend some time with the Lord confessing where you have taken matters into your own hands. Take a minute to ask Him to help you; even now, go show kindness or compassion to those who have hurt you or are currently against you.