Did someone tick you off recently? Are you still limping from a wound by a friend or family member? This story will help you choose a path forward that is better for them, and way better for you.
“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15-17, ESV)
“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters.[a] Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9, NLT)
We’d all like for other people to be sensitive and kind to us when we mess up. But when other people hurt us, we often default to victim mode and justify our ill feelings and words toward those who harm us. God’s Word guides us to respond radically when we are treated badly, even deeply wounded. Showing grace and concern for others follows Jesus’ example, increases peace and heals our hearts much better than anger and retaliation. God actually brings us His blessing when we return good after we experience bad, even evil.
If you have been deeply hurt, or have grown up with people and habits that retaliate quickly when wronged, this message may rub you the wrong way. Fairness matters to you. Getting walked on stinks…but letting it get to you deepens the stink. If kindness in the face of brutal treatment won’t work for you, it’s time to think bigger. Consider the radical forgiveness and kindness that Jesus has shown to a world that chose evil over good, selfishness over love. Try things God’s way…choose humility, sympathy and kindness. Blessing others who don’t deserve it brings a blessing to us, who also don’t deserve it.
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