“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12
Oh boy. Peter did indeed speak some powerful words. If only I was better at actually doing what this passage says. Unfortunately I rather good at getting upset, holding a grudge and finding passive aggressive ways at lashing back at those who have harmed me. I’ll be honest, I sometimes struggle with restraint. Or I am able to restrain myself until a certain threshold but once you meet that threshold you better watch out. You don’t want to see what is hidden beneath all that pretend restraint. I have found it is often best to remove myself from situations that are causing my self restraint to weaken so that I can spend time in prayer working on my inner self.
So what do I mean by this? Well all humans struggle with dealing with anger, sadness and hurt when someone does something evil to us. We all have different ways of lashing back. Some of us like to punch back. Some of us just sit crying in sorrow. Some of us like to find more passive ways of lashing back. But this is not what God desire of us. He desires us to bless those who do evil to us. He desires us to pray for them. He desires us to love them. He desires us to keep our wild tongues from speaking negative things over them. It is much easier to fall into a venting session over someone that has harmed you then it is to kneel down in prayer and supplication for the individual. That being said we sometimes need to put a certain distance between ourselves or set certain boundaries so that we can flee from the temptation to lash out in a bad way. Similar we should work to respect others boundaries and not provoke others to anger.
So next time someone does something to harm you or does something evil, turn from that evil and do good. How do we do this? We often need to walk away then turn to the lord in prayer. Pray for them and ask the lord to give you the heart to speak blessing over them. I know I sure need to work on this so maybe you can even pray for me. That I would heed these words. Amen