Proverbs 24:29

“Do not say, ‘I will do to him as he has done to me;

  I will pay the man back for what he has done.'”

Proverbs 24:29 ESV

How many times have your heard someone say something similar to “Paybacks are twice as much.” Of course they mean if you hit me once, I’ll hit you twice. Here, the writer commands the reader not to say things like that, and it is clear that the prohibition includes the associated actions.

In the context of this book, the implication is that saying such things is akin to harboring these things in our hearts. Remember, he’s not talking about simply withholding the action, he’s talking about the heart and thoughts that support the action. The writer is getting to the foundation or heart issues.

Notice how Jesus addresses this issue: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 ESV). Simply put, what comes out of the mouth is what is in the heart.

How is your heart? Does your mouth support your answer?

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