2 Chronicles 28
In this chapter, there is a wonderful example of God’s principle of returning good for evil, inspired by leaders of Ephraim who urged the people of Israel to release the captives from Judah they had defeated in battle: "'You must not bring those prisoners here,' they said, 'or we will be guilty before the Lord. Do you intend to add to our sin and guilt? For our guilt is already great, and his fierce anger rests on Israel.' So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and plunder in the presence of the officials and all the assembly. The men designated by name took the prisoners, and from the plunder they clothed all who were naked. They provided them with clothes and sandals, food and drink, and healing balm. All those who were weak they put on donkeys. So they took them back to their fellow Israelites at Jericho, the City of Palms, and returned to Samaria." (vs 13-15)
This immediately reminded me of one of Solomon’s famous proverbs: "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." (Prov 25:21-22)
Jesus also encouraged us in this direction with His admonition to "love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:27-31)
Look at all the verbs in that passage! These are active words, not passive words. And that’s exactly what God’s love is like—it is active, not passive. It does not simply stop at not getting revenge for evil; it actively repays good for evil. God doesn’t tell us to simply refrain from doing to other people what we wouldn’t like to have done to us. On the contrary, He says that we should figure out what we would like someone to do for us... then grab the initiative and do it for them instead.
This is just like God. His love is active, not passive. He doesn’t simply "not destroy us" because He loves us. His love is full of verbs. He gives, He blesses, He protects, He helps, He saves, He nurtures... really, the list could go on and on!