I did a favor for a poor family. I loaned them some money. They called me to say that they were going to pay me back, but what I got was six gunshots in the face.

Now, what I want most is justice, but something stops me in spite of how mad I feel. The truth is that I don’t know whether to leave things as they are or eliminate the family that did this to me…. I lost my job…. Now I have nothing. Every time I have to go to the hospital for a follow‑up visit, I get angry, mad, furious, and want to take justice into my own hands.

Dear Friend,

We are so sorry to hear about this tragedy that you have suffered! No one should have to go through such an experience. It is natural that you would want justice if the people who have caused your pain and loss have not been punished. If so, it is not fair for them to go on living as if nothing had happened, while you suffer the devastating consequences every day of your life.

The fact is that you did not tell us if these people have been arrested and charged with shooting you. Perhaps a lack of action on the part of the authorities is another thing that makes you want to take justice into your own hands, believing the legal system has failed you. In that case, it is understandable that you would feel rage and frustration.

Did you know that anger causes physical changes inside your body? Anger causes your body to produce chemicals which are designed to help you deal with what is causing it. These chemicals make you feel that you have power and that you are capable of eliminating the problem, and may even make you feel that you have extraordinary mental clarity regarding the entire situation. The adrenaline that is flowing through your system can also make you feel restless and eager to just go out and finish the conflict that family started.

The fact that you have told us your case means that you understand that you should consider the consequences of any actions you take in order to get revenge. As powerful as you feel and as right as it seems, your potential actions of vengeance would most probably make your own situation worse. You could end up in prison for the rest of your life. Right now it may seem that it is worth the risk, but that is not the case.

God knows that injustices like this will occur, and He has provided a solution. The Apostle Paul taught, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”(1) Paul makes it extremely clear that God will repay the people who shot you. For now it may seem that they have gotten away with it, but God sees every action and knows every heart. You can trust Him to make sure that justice is done.

If you continue to let anger rule your life, the chemical consequences to your system may cause you more physical harm. Give your anger to the Lord instead.

Let God take care of it for you,

Linda and Charles
1 Ro 12:19