This wise saying is about interpersonal relationships — in particular, things we shouldn’t do, think or say! It’s sort of the anti-Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Actually, it’s a paraphrase of something Jesus said in Matthew 7:12.
Here we are commanded to not say two things. “I’ll do to them as they have done to me” and “I’ll pay them back for what they did.”
Both phrases of this wise saying are based on what “they have done to me” and “what they did.” It’s about retaliation.
There are two ways to not practice this. One I learned years ago in class here at Helping Up Mission.
A guy gave me an East Baltimore version of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others before they do unto you!” That is — hit them with a preemptive strike!
Well, that’s one way to not do this verse. But there’s a better way!
Instead of focusing on what others did or didn’t do to me or someone I love, I need to accept the fact that nothing was done in a vacuum. My Heavenly Father is aware of what’s going on and has the power to lovingly make this situation work out for our good.
Of course, I could wish He didn’t let it happen at all! But the truth is — He’s choosing to use this situation for good in my life.
It’s not necessary that I understand it all or like it. But it sure would help if I could just trust that He knows what’s best and that He knows what He’s doing!