In 1882 in New York City, Joseph Richardson owned a narrow strip of land 5 feet wide and 104 feet long. Next door was a normal-sized lot owned by a man who wanted to erect an apartment building. He offered Richardson $1,000 for his plot. Deeply offended, Richardson demanded $5,000 which the builder refused to pay. The builder went on to build the apartment building assuming the slender lot would remain vacant and the view exposed.
But Richardson built a house instead—blocking the view! Dubbed the “Spite House,” Richardson spent the last fourteen years of his life in the narrow residence that seemed to fit his narrow state of mind. Revenge builds a lonely, narrow house…space enough for one person. No wonder God insists we “keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent!” (Hebrews 12:14 MSG).