Paul writes about revenge and living at peace with people: ‘Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.’ (Rom 12:17-18)

Here, he sets out our role, and also points out the limits of what we can do. Our part is not to repay anyone evil for evil, to eschew revenge and to be confident that God will sort out justice for us as He sees fit. Our part is ‘as far as it depends on you’ to live at peace with everyone. That will mean going the extra mile at times and certainly means living in a counter-cultural way, not wanting revenge, not seeking the harm of other people. But he is realistic. No matter how much we try to live at peace with everyone, not everyone will be peace-loving towards us.

We cannot be responsible for the attitudes and actions of other people. All we can do is to live in a peaceful way, not antagonising people, not seeking revenge. The rest, we must leave to God.