Updated: Jan 26
From February 22, 2021.
Let me ask you a question, do you struggle with people who have wronged you? Do you ever say to yourself, that just wasn't fair? Do you ever wish that God would set them straight? Have you ever struggled with wanting to seek revenge? Perhaps not in a mean way but maybe through the courts or some other means. I certainly have.
I've been wronged in my lifetime, more than once. I've longed for retribution. I've wanted things to be set right. But what does the Bible say?
Let's go to Romans 12 beginning with first 9 "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the lord."
Let's drop down to verses 17-21. And pay close attention to these words, they really spoke to me this weekend. (thanks Pastor Kip) "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "it is mine to avenge, I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: if your enemy is hungry feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will Heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
The New Testament writer is quoting from Proverbs 25: 21,22 "if your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you."
There's an old saying that goes like this: 'kill em with kindness.' I have put this into action, and trust me when I tell you, it works!
Many years ago I had a neighbor who for some reason did not like us. I could overhear her saying unkind things about our situation and our family. She never smiled at us, never waved when we waved etcetera. One day I was crying out to the Lord about the situation and how it hurt my feelings and the Holy Spirit prompted me to take her flowers. I knew her favorite color was yellow and so I picked every yellow flower out of my flower beds, put them in a pretty vase and took them over to her. She was not home so I sat them on her front porch.
A couple days later my daughter came in and said "Mom the neighbor asked if you were the one that brought the flowers over and I told her yes. She said to tell you thank you."
Oh, how joy filled my heart. From that moment on she began to wave when we would wave, she began to smile when we would smile. And overtime there were conversations and laughter. I even had her in my home.
Love and kindness does change people!
I challenge you to practice it. It may feel foreign. It may feel like the exact opposite of what you want to do. But what does God want us to do? That's easy: He wants us to love! So, love your neighbor! Be kind to those that are unkind to you. Perhaps you will see instant results or, it might take a while. And who knows, maybe you'll never see results this side of Heaven. But you never know what you have done by planting that seed of love and kindness.
Be the change you long to see. I would encourage you today: just love. Love God first; love people second. Everything else will come out in the wash as my grandma would say. And remember friends: keep looking up! Jesus is coming soon!