Strange how the mere mention or reading of a verse in the Bible can open the door to a treasure trove of thoughts. That’s what happened to me yesterday after making a reference to Matt. 5:43-48. Immediately I was reminded of just how difficult the Christian life can be, that it is in fact impossible without God’s aid. Every Christian is called to live a miracle. The demands imposed upon us far exceed our human ability. Yet we are not relieved of duty because it is difficult.
As I write this I am reminded of the recent shooting in Charleston, S C, and the various responses to it. I was especially impressed by a message musician Marcus Stanley posted on the killer’s Facebook page, expressing forgiveness and encouraging repentance. It was truly amazing–an example of how we ought to respond to those who hate and/or hurt us. Although not to the same extent, everyone of us can think of someone who has hurt us deeply, perhaps even a member of our own family. In many cases we struggle with how we respond to these people. Truth be known some of you are dealing with this issue even as you read this. You have been unfairly neglected or abused by someone and you are battling bitterness– and losing. You know from reading the Bible what your response should be, but it seems impossible to do.
If that describes you, don’t give-in to the ways of the world; don’t give-up to the weakness of the flesh; don’t give-over to the wiles of the devil. There is help at hand. The Spirit of God will enable your to do what the Word of God commands you to do. If you yield yourself to His control He will do through you what you could never do on your own. If you refuse to respond as you should it will bring a double-defeat– the perpetrator hurts you and you hurt yourself. Contrary to what you’ve heard, revenge isn’t sweet– it is sinful. Chances are you feel that you deserve to be pitied, but the person to be pitied the most is the person who hurt you. Their unkindness is something they will have to answer to God for and, believe me, that will be worse than anything you have suffered at their hands.