The expression, ‘if you live by the sword you will die by the sword’ is adapted from a statement made by Jesus indicating violence done to others will often result in violence being done to the perpetrator (Mt 26:52). It highlights the sowing and

A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings himself harm – Proverbs 11:17

reaping principle that, if not fully outworked in this life, will be in the next (Gal 6:7-10). During the great tribulation of the end times the anti-Christ (also called the beast) will inflict intense suffering on humanity and will reap the consequences (Rev 13:15-17, 20:10).

Wicked people act with callousness, mercilessly attacking the innocent and not even adequately caring for their animals (Ps 64:2,3; Prov 12:10). In contrast, as children of a loving God, we are to exhibit His nature, showing kindness to all (including animals), doing to others as we would like done to us (Lk 6:31; Gal 5:22,23; Col 3:12).

One outward expression of anger is cruelty, inflicting pain in some form against others (Prov 27:4). The Bible’s advice is to bless and pray for those who treat you badly. By responding in the opposite way to that expected we can often break the destructive cycle of revenge (Mt 5:44; Rom 12:14).

In heaven there will be numerous folk who suffered terribly on earth, even being martyred because of their faith in Christ but they will be exalted in heaven (Heb 11:35-38; Rev 7:15-17, 12:11, 21:4).

While humanity inflicts untold suffering and injustices against other human beings, the greatest cruelty was that imposed by sinful man crucifying Jesus who was sinless and, in the greatest act of love ever, bearing the suffering that rightfully belonged to us so we need not suffer if we turn to Him.

See also: abuse, anger, end times, inhumane, opposite spirit, rights, sow and reap.