Getting Even

What comes to mind when you hear the words, "Getting Even"? Do you think of someone who has wronged you? Someone who has said a nasty word about you? Does your blood pressure elevate? Do you relive the nastiness once again and wish harm on someone and retribution for the pain they caused?

I think that is pretty normal, after all, we are human. It is normal, but not necessarily the healthiest way to think and feel. You may have heard the quote, "Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and hoping they will die." That concept is pretty silly, isnt it? But we all have thought that. We think bad, revengeful thoughts and hope it somehow affects the wrongdoer. In reality, it only hurts the person holding onto the grudge. I wrote about Holding a Grudge and Forgivenessyou can read these to hopefully help you sort through some of those nasty feelings if you are hanging on tightly to some "ugly".

I read a quote the other day and it got me thinking about "getting even", and it caused me to shift my perspective on the topic:

"The only people you should get even with are those who have helped you."

-Napoleon Hill
1883-1970, Author

WOW, what a novel idea!

How often do we try to get even with those who have helped us? How many times have we returned the favor and taken action to "Pay it forward"? I dont think that is something we naturally think about. We may appreciate what others do for usbut I dont think we consciously try to get even with them. On the other hand, we have no problem thinking about and trying to get even with the people who have scorned us. Even if we never take action on these wrongdoers, we think about it and let it consume us a lot of the time. What if we shifted our focus and started to plot and plan to get even with people who have improved our lives? What if we made an effort to do one nice thing each day for those people who have enriched our lives? How much greater would this world be? How free would we feel to continue doing what is honorable and right? We would see the benefits of gratitude and love spreading like wildfire!

The Bible clearly instructs us not to hold a grudge:

Leviticus 19:18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.


If we just practiced that one simple rule, that one small passage, can you imagine what good would come to others and yourself?!? There would be so many mended relationships. Your health would improve, as illness and dis-ease would decline. Love, gratitude, and goodness would automatically grow in and around you! Getting even with others would be fun and it would become contagious. Focusing on getting even with the people who have made a difference in our lives and taking the focus off of getting even with the people who have done us wrong is magical. Before you know it, the wrongdoers in your life will have no significance, they will slowly fade away, and they will become a non-issue!

This quote above, "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" is so powerful. Some of us feel like we should keep all our happiness and goodness to ourselves. We think that if we give it away, we will have less. But the opposite is true: If we take the good deeds that others shower on us, and get even with them, our happiness grows. If we take that goodness and kindness others give to us and Pay it Forward, our happiness grows. Making others happy makes us happy. Its a win-win situation.

Take Action: This week and beyond, lets think of at least one person who has made a difference in our lives. Lets hand write them a thank you letter and mail it to them. Lets take them out to lunch. Lets do something nice for them. Lets buy them a special gift. Lets make their life better because of us! Lets do it again and again with all the people who have enriched our lives. Lets focus on these "angels" and take the focus off of the people who have hurt us.

Remember, what we focus on growsso lets focus on getting even with the great people in our lives!




  1. Thanks for sharing such a thought-provoking message.. first -timer on the blog.. very inspiring!

  2. Amen, Sister!!! Thanks!!

  3. Who should I get even with?? What a fun thing to think about!

  4. Daddy-G says:

    Ok, I am FREAKIN’ OUT MAN!
    Check out the verse I read a couple hours ago in today’s daily devotional:
    Leviticus 19:18
    Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
    Whaaaaaaaatttttttt?????? Looks like God is tapping me on the shoulder, eh?

    I love that quote and I accept your challenge – THANKS!!!

  5. Joann Paradies says:

    That’s it!! I’m getting even with you!!!!

  6. Thank you sweet girl for your reminders of how to live well.

    Aunt Judy

  7. Gigi Peterson says:

    Love this!!! What a great message this morning. Love the candle analogy. I’m inspired. Thank you!!!!

  8. Home run, Deanna! Great message.
    Thank you for being a daughter that I am proud of.
    I love you!

  9. Cheryl Beck says:

    Do you live at my house? Seems you do since you always hit a subject that I deal with. Thank you

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