To anyone who is interested…
Yes, sin does infact harm others. And that is not fair and it is not right - classic indicators of the presence of sin.
In our world, our dominant tendency to respond to things that are not fair and right is a desire to avenge/revenge via imposing some sort of ‘punishment’. This has even crept into and embedded itself squarely within Christianity. And so we tend to view verses such as Rom 12:19 through that mindset.
But if we look at the context of Rom 12:19, we see Paul’s summary conclusion only a couple of verses later: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. Thus, God is not saying to leave vengeance to Him to let Him avenge/revenge others in the same manner that we would want to. God is not some cosmic “Terminator”. Rather, God is saying to release our desire to avenge/revenge to Him and He will restore justice and righteousness - but that He will do so in a very different way to how we would do it. God only does two things: restore back to what “ought to be” (ie justice and righteousness) or release to natural consequences. God does not punish nor does He destroy.
[Note: God does discipline (ie disciple) - but that is very conceptually different to punishment].
Christianity typically fails to consider the central role that reality plays. This is not to suggest that reality is bigger than God. But the existence of reality is a vital consideration that is typically overlooked. The way I would describe it is that God, in His Omniscience and Omnipotence, ‘inhabits’ reality and works in, with and through reality - as opposed to being apart from reality. And reality consists of laws (as opposed to rules) - principles of consistency, principles of cause and effect. Thus, God does not need to judge in the way we typically understand and portray. Reality already takes care of that need. If I violate the laws of health, I will get sick (cause and effect). If I violate the laws of gravity, I will perish (cause and effect). If I violate any of the laws of abundant life - which is what sin is as the transgression of the law - I will perish (as per Rom 6:23). Again, cause and effect.
God is the Source and Sustainer of all life (Acts 17:28). Reality is not the source of life. But rather than God having to micromanage every aspect of life, He employs reality (and its laws/principles as constants of cause and effect) to manage reality.
Have a close look at Paul again in Gal 6:7-9. God is not being “mocked” by the suggestion that reality is involved and that it is employed by Him in His perfect ‘management’ of everything. Consequenlty, it is precisely this cause and effect nature of reality that is the mechanism by which “destruction” will come about: “For the one who sows to the flesh (ie sins/transgresses the laws necessary for abundant life) will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction”. This is why Jesus was able to say so black and white in Jn 10:10 that God is the exclusive source of abundant life and that the thief is the exclusive source of death and destruction.
So, God does not need to ‘judge’ in the way He is typically portrayed because that process is already inbuilt into reality. This is because those who sin and harm others, if they do not repent and become healed and restored, will experience the inherent and inevitable consequences of cause and effect reality - they will perish (Rom 6:23, Gal 6:8). Rather, God’s ‘judgment’ is merely the revealing/unveiling of all the details/evidence so that any onlooker can see clearly the cause and effect reality that has taken place (see 1 Cor 4:5 as a description of God’s judgment process).
It is not too strong to say that the typical portrayal of God as judge and executioner (ie the one who will destroy sinners in the end) is actually a doctrine of deception. Look at the first words of Gal 6:6. Paul is precisely cautioning against viewing God this way. Clearly this deception has been around for a long time.