By: Lisa Wilmore
Scripture: Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3: 8-9).
Each morning I receive a daily scripture from a dear friend of mine. The scriptures are inspirational as well as encouraging. One Friday morning, I received the above noted scripture; however, the scripture was written in the New Living Translated version (NLT) which reads as follows: “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay evil back with a blessing, which is what God has called us to do. In doing so, He will grant us His divine blessings”. Peter reminds us, as Christian believers, we must live in harmony with others, be tenderhearted, affectionate, and sensitive to their needs; even if they are not courteous toward us (1Peter 3:8).
When we are hurt by others, we may feel it is within our rights to repay them evil for evil or insult for insult. In reality, this is the world’s way. But Jesus’ way is to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5: 44). With this in mind, Christians cannot look like the world. On the other hand, we must exemplify Christ-like characteristics at all times.
Remarkably, I have discovered that “hurting people usually hurt people”. When individuals are hurting, they have the tendency to return negative behavior toward others. Well, instead of reacting to an individual in a retaliatory manner, we must react the way the apostle Paul instructs the Christians in Rome, as noted in the Bible: “Bless them which Persecute you: bless and curse not” (Romans 12: 14).
My brothers and sisters, we should never pay back wrong for wrong. If our hearts desire is to pay someone back for railing (insulting) you, think about how you could “pay them back with a blessing”. Why? God has called us to do so. Because of our obedience to His will and His way, He will bless us. In actuality, people of all kinds can be cruel at times. But we must show Christlikeness and pay them back with a blessing. This is only possible through our love for Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit which dwells in us.