Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.—Romans 12:14
Well, this one just stinks, as it goes against everything I’ve ever known. From my earliest days, cartoons reinforced that when someone persecutes you, you give them a stick of dynamite. You never ever bless them! Come on! It is not even natural!
But that is the thing about faith, isn’t it? It isn’t supposed to hitch itself to the natural, for it is the supernatural we are to follow.
When was the last time you took evil against yourself, and returned simple love? I know for me the instances are few and far between, but as I grow in faith I hope to grow in action as well, to the point that a negative comment on Facebook doesn’t have me readying my stick of dynamite.
So when someone persecutes me—or hurls some small insult or discourtesy my way—my first response should be to think of this verse, to pray for the strength to follow it, and then to allow myself to be bent to its instruction. I am to repay evil with good, to love even those who bear me no love, and to pray for the best for those who wish me the worst.
And ultimately this shows a trust in God. I do not need to be a one-man avenger because I trust God. I don’t need to take matters into my own hands, because all matters are firmly in His. My charge is to love God, keep His commands, and, out of that, to love others. It isn’t to pay everyone back, change them all, or prove myself. No, it is much easier than that despite all the ways I make it difficult. Perhaps today is one on which I will strive to walk in a Romans 12:14 way, trusting in God, and in light of that trust, humbly blessing others.
Now, if I only I knew what to do with all these dynamite sticks . . .