“See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all“
In this context, “see that” is a warning against the attitude of revenge. Not only must the church as a whole display longsuffering (5:14) to one another, but also they must not pay back an injury with an injury.
no one renders evil for evil
The word “renders” signifies to give back, to restore, return, render what is due, to pay, give an account. The New Testament uses this term for paying back financial debt. It also carries the bad sense to pay someone back for a wrong. The idea, in this case, is revenge or retaliation.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17).
“…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” (1 Peter 3:9).
Mature Christians do not retaliate against the Christian or the non-Christian people we like, or people do we do not like.
Immaturity repays evil with evil and good for good. Maturity repays good for evil. The mature person can place justice in the hands of God. It is the responsibility of mature leadership to repay good for evil.
Vengeance usurps the place of God.
Some Christians will take nothing lying down. The law of the jungle is kill or be killed. “I will pay you back for this if it is the last thing I do.” This attitude usurps the place of God. The sovereign execution of vengeance belongs to God.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore
‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’” (Romans 12:17-21).