I’ve had a few situations this week where I wanted to be defensive, angry and to just let someone know how I REALLY felt! Have you been there lately too?
It’s all so real and overwhelming at times. Our closest friends can hurl words at us that become like daggers in our heart. We have a choice – to hurl hurtful words right back at ’em, or to take the advice of Jesus from the book of Matthew:
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:38-48 NLT)
That line about only loving those who love you…yeah. Ouch.
What reward is there for that? Even corrupt people do that. Toes. Stepped on.
It certainly wasn’t easy for me to respond to those hurtful words that came my way while trying to show compassion and the love of Jesus. And I’m sure I didn’t get it exactly right. But, I waited to respond and asked God to help me find the right words. To help me come from a place of encouragement and not tearing down.
Tonight, I’m asking God to put reminders in front of me this week – reminders to be an encourager and not a victim. Reminders of what Jesus taught. And wisdom to show me when and how to live that in the situations I face each day.
I pray that He puts those reminders in front of you, too. And that together we face one situation at a time with only the grace and mercy that we find in Jesus Christ.
Proverb of the Day:
Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. [Proverbs 18:20-21 NLT]
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