It seems to be human nature to want those who have wronged us to be held accountable and “punished.” We only want justice, right? But often I think we want much more. We often want the offending persons to suffer as much or more than we did; we want to see them hurt by personally inflicting pain on them or by watching someone else administer the pain. But how much justice or revenge can we afford?
Now, I’m not suggesting we should ignore the wrongs of others; I think we must pursue legal means to hold people accountable. But even the outcomes of justice may be more costly to us in the long run. The pursuit of justice and/or revenge often depletes financial resources as well as other resources, especially time. Additionally, seeking revenge can create a life-time of bitterness and hate, interfere with loving relationships, and destroy the pursuit of more beneficial goals. We might be well to rephrase one of the Spending Questions and ask ourselves: “How will revenge improve my life or the lives of those I care about?“