“… not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing …” – 1 Peter 3:9


In 2013, San Diego Padre Carlos Quentin charged the mound after Los Angeles Dodger Zack Greinke hit him with a pitch. When Quentin was asked why he charged the mound, he responded, “We have a history that goes back a few years.” We call this payback.

The passage above from 1 Peter challenges us to not only resist payback but also deliver a blessing. Can this be a legitimate part of the game?

Jesus modeled the lifestyle of not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult. In the midst of His betrayals, beatings, and attacks He never, not once, joined in on the payback game. We have a living example to emulate!

The text from 1 Peter isn’t telling you to wimp out, but it is telling you to respond to evil or insults with uplifting words. Play hard with all glory to God. At the end of the day, don’t allow physical or verbal abuse to define your style of play. Set a goal to be respected for your play and to say encouraging words to all … including your opponents!

  1. When is the last time you gave payback in a game? How did it help or hurt the situation?

  2. When is the last time you received payback in a game? Did you expect it? How did it diffuse or escalate the situation?

  3. Make a list of blessings that you could give an opponent throughout one of your games.


Proverbs 15:1

John 19

Acts 7:54–59


Father, payback is an easy thing to talk about but not engaging in its practice is hard. May I bring words of blessing to all I compete for and against. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Bible Reference: 
Proverbs 15:1
John 19:1-42
Acts 7:54-59