“Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”
or reviling for reviling,
The phrase “reviling for reviling” is more specific than “evil for evil.” “Evil” speaks of deeds. “Reviling” speaks of words. “Reviling” conveys evil to someone’s face, not behind their back.
A “reviling” is a verbal wrong, verbal abuse. “Reviling” is verbal retaliation. To revile is to execute malice toward someone in a fierce, bitter manner. When we gossip or criticize someone as a payback, this is a reviling. This is a reproach.
Verbal assault is not a proper method of Christian communication.
God wants us to watch our mouths. We do not always have to stand up for our rights. Rights have become a panacea to our generation. Rights measure everything. If we enter quarreling and remonstrate angrily at someone because they were that way to us, we move off God’s will for us.
1 Pet. 2:23, “Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”
Do you use scathing or insulting speech as your method of communication? Do you retaliate in kind? Note David’s attitude toward Shimei. Shimei was a relative of Saul. David replaced Saul as king. Shimei called David a man of Belial (the Devil).
2 Sam. 16:9-12, “Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, ‘Why should this dead dog [Shimei] curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!’ 10But the king [David] said, ‘What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ 11And David said to Abishai and all his servants, ‘See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. 12 ‘It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.’”
When Christians adopt a “payback” attitude, they step into God’s role. By taking vengeance in our own hands, we play God. God reserves the right to take vengeance because he knows all the facts. We interfere with his justice when trying to play his role. When the Christian takes upon himself the part of revenge, he interferes with God’s justice. God reserves the right of vengeance.