Faye Bryant

No more tit-for-tat

Love your…. WHAT????? No way! That person killed my spirit! She lied to me! He cheated me! I despise them!

Now, now. We know that Jesus suffered much more than we ever have and yet loved those who hurt Him, who came after Him, who tried to destroy Him.

As He hung on the cross, Jesus asked the Father to forgive the very men who had beaten, taunted, and tortured Him.

This is part of that upside down kingdom Jesus came to reveal. To change our tit-for-tat thinking into forgiveness-thinking. To treat those who have hurt us as though they matter.

Oh my.

Mine is a second marriage for both of us, the previous ones ending because of the spouse’s choice of adultery. One Sunday morning, as we walked across the street to enter our church’s building, a man called out my husband’s name. It was the man my beloved’s ex-wife had chosen over him.

In an instant, my husband had to determine what to do. Should he grin and bear it and talk to the man? Should he tell him to go fly a kite? Should he just turn and walk away?

I watched as my man walked over to the other guy and offer his hand to shake. They talked for a moment while I stood on the steps praying. Then the two walked toward me, and my husband escorted the man into the church building, right up to the pew where we could all sit down. That man heard and responded to the Gospel that morning, securing his eternal home.

Had hubby held a grudge and turned away from the man who helped destroy his first marriage, that man may very well be hell-bound. Instead, he has a relationship with the Lord.

Now, was my guy happy to see this fellow? No.
Was he excited to sit beside him in the pew? Nope.
Was he filled with memories of all that had happened? Yep.

And yet, he was kind to the man. He offered his hand. He invited him in. I believe he behaved as a child of the Most High that day and will hear Our Father say, “Well done!”

Since you just read this, I suspect you’ll soon have an opportunity to love your enemy, too. Will you go down a different aisle? Will you turn and walk away? Will you point that person out in ridicule? Jesus said to love ‘em. Just love ‘em.

See, hurt people hurt people. They act from a place of pain that we don’t necessarily know. They are held in a place of captivity we can’t understand.

When we choose to not forgive the offenses of people, we become the captives and we then act out of that instead of our relationship with the Almighty.

God does know their hurt. And He said to love ‘em. Be kind to them. Unselfishly seek the best for them. The only way to do that is to forgive them and seek God. He will love through you. Every time.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

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