Someone has been unkind to you in the past, haven’t they? Maybe intentionally, maybe not. But we’ve all been hurt by someone.
I’m sure you can recall exactly who it was and how they made you feel – and probably, what you wanted to say back, whether you said it or not.
One of the hardest things we face as Christians is being Christ-like to those who, quite frankly, don’t deserve any kindness.
Last week, I faced that very situation. Someone was extremely rude to me via text message. I am talking the kind of comments that are meant to purposely tear someone down and make them cry. That kind of unkind.
I did not know this person very well, so it was hard to take the insults very seriously. Still, they were hurtful things that spoke directly to my own fears and insecurities.
I know who I am in Christ, and a few intentionally mean comments aren’t going to change that. I’m a daughter of the King. He loves me, so why does it matter what someone else thinks?
My initial reaction was to write a text telling him where to go. Really. I almost wrote those three words. Yes, I am still shocked at myself.
At the time, I was busy and couldn’t respond immediately. It’s a good thing I didn’t, because then I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me. I felt that he wanted me to respond kindly, so I did.
Wouldn’t Jesus do the same thing?
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil for evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. -1 Peter 3:3-9
If we’re kind to our enemies, God will bless us. This is so counter intuitive to our nature. But if we want the light of Jesus to shine through us, we have to live out Christ’s love daily. This means being kind to people who do not treat us with the same courtesy.
I’m not saying you should let people walk all over you. There is a point at which we all need to stand up for ourselves. But I think there’s a way to still do that while letting the love of Christ shine through us.
I agree the people who intentionally hurt us don’t deserve kindness or love. But how will they see Christ in us if we only love those who love us back?
You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? -Matthew 5:43-46
When Jesus lived and died on this earth, he was hated and persecuted by the very people he came to save. We didn’t deserve His love, but He gave it anyway. When we adopt this mindset in our actions toward others, we become a little more like Christ.
In this life, we’re going to be faced with tough situations like this, but I believe the Lord tests us to see what we’ll do. In a way, I’m thankful He allows these things to happen, otherwise I wouldn’t have a chance to really let others see how He lives in me.
And in the process, God continues to show that nothing could change His love for me or you.