When I was a kid, I had a goal – to be such a nice person that even the devil would like me.
Obviously, this goal was unobtainable. The devil would never like me. He hates all God’s children.
And while my goal of becoming a nice person was a noble one, I’m still struggling to reach it. This challenge is especially apparent when someone disagrees with me about an issue I’m passionate about. I can be so ugly that sometimes I wonder if it’s easier (or at least tempting) for the devil to like me.
Don’t you hate the part of us that has to get in the last word? We can’t let the matter drop. We spit out words fueled by the heat of the moment – words that continue to sting and cut long after they’ve left our lips. Long past the moment we regret saying them.
We’re fired up, and although we’re confident in our position, we get lost in our passion. Sometimes the tables turn, and we find ourselves on the receiving end of stingingly-cutting words.
What would happen if we read and applied 1 Peter 3:9 (ESV)?:
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Notice the word “repay.” This word implies that God knows we will experience evil (abusive behavior) and reviling (insulting words). Even sadder, that others will receive the same from us.
It’s not easy to like, much less bless, someone who ridicules us. Yet according to the second half of the verse, blessing our tormentors isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command. It is our calling. When we act on our calling, we position ourselves to receive a blessing from God. (The principle is equally true for those who bear the brunt of our ridicule and abusive behavior.)
When I’m angry, my mind goes a hundred miles per hour. It’s embarrassing how hard it is for me to get my thoughts under control. Meditating on a Bible verse, however, always corrects my train of thought. It brings me back to the heart of God – and His heart toward the other person.
Furthermore, when I pray the verse for “my opponent” (thus, blessing them) I feel better toward them. I praise God for His Word and His ways.
What do you think?
You can use a pseudonym (fake name) when commenting if you want to.
- I’m thankful my childhood goal will never be realized. Today, I have a better goal:
In Christ, I’ll never stop trying to become a nicer person – one who can love, respect and bless others, including those with whom I staunchly disagree.
- Will you consider embracing this goal, too?
If you’re reading by email, CLICK HERE to visit Today Can Be Different online and leave a comment. If you would like to subscribe to this blog and receive the most recent post to your inbox, see sidebar! There’s no charge for this service. AND, I’d be tickled if you would consider sharing this post 🙂