Thursday, January 17, 2008

Don't repay evil for evil

"Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it." 1 Peter 3:8-9

In this journey to become more like my maker, this could be one of the hardest requests to follow. We live in a society that teaches only the strong survive, and the strong would not let someone do something to them without some type of retaliation. But if you really stop and think about it, it takes a much stronger person to pay back evil with a blessing. I think of the anger that wells up inside of me when someone does something to hurt me, especially if I feel it was done intentionally, and it is hard for me to imagine turning around and doing something nice for them. Unfortunately my first reaction is rage and it leads me to do things I end up regretting, however there is hope for me because I can tell that I'm growing. I am starting to apologize for those outburst even when it is the last thing I want to do. Also I am really trying hard to avoid that instant action that I wish to take and instead praying about it or praying for the person that is hurting me. I am learning more and more everyday that everyone will disappoint or hurt you in some way even if it is a christian or someone you truly look up to. I am learning that instead of being bitter and angry the only thing I can do is give it up to God and trust that anything done to me is done for my own good and growth. I am also realizing that I am far from perfect and so I don't know why I expect others to be. I think about the things I have done to hurt other people and I wonder why I would not expect others to do the same to me. We all justify our actions and intentions and so we begin to rationalize within ourselves why it was okay for us to do something and not okay for others to do the same exact things. My goal for this week is to not act out of anger, but instead act with a tender heart, and pay evil back with a blessing even when I feel others don't deserve it.

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