My daughters and I were talking once about another child at school who was giving one of them a hard time. She wanted to be able to come back at this person and say something really mean just to show them what it was like. I completely understand this thinking. We think if we can make them understand or show them what it’s like to be in our shoes, they will stop. But really, what it shows is that we can be just as mean.
I mentioned the “Golden Rule” in our conversation and this was the reply: “Well, if this is how they are treating me, it must mean they want to be treated this way.” I think I laughed out loud! That is one way to view it; it’s wrong, but we probably think this more than we care to admit.
This verse does not put the responsibility on the other person to treat us right; it puts the onus on us to treat others right.
- If we want to be loved, we need to love.
- If we want compassion, we need to be compassionate.
- If we want people to be kind, we need to show kindness.
- If we want to be able to trust someone, we need to be trustworthy.
- If we want people to help, we need to be willing to serve.
- If we want _____________, we need to_____________. (You fill in the blanks.)
Which of these pieces comes first? Our willingness to love and listen, follow through and serve should always be first in our minds.
I have seen so many postings on Facebook to re-post the condemnation to bullies that they really don’t understand how they hurt others when they bully and if they only understood the other person’s situation, they would stop. I believe for the most part that they do understand the pain and hurt because they feel it from others as well. It’s what they’ve been taught and have learned.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:44-45a (NKJV)
So my prayer is this:
I pray for every bully who has ever been emotionally, physically, or mentally abused by a parent, relative or friend. I pray for every bully who has ever been told they would never amount to anything; that they are stupid or worthless. I pray for every bully who thought they finally had a breakthrough only to be told it wasn’t good enough; they are second-best, second-class. I pray for every bully who thinks the only way they can feel better is to know there is someone who feels worse. I pray that the love, kindness and compassion of Jesus would be made real in their life through a person who is willing to serve and show that their real value is found in Jesus. In His precious name, Amen.
“If we say we are His, we must follow the example of Christ.” 1 John 2:6 (CEV)
Jesus did not shake His finger at those who didn’t know and understand His ways. He reached out His hand in love and compassion to show them the love of His Father in heaven.
Something to Consider…
Is there someone in your life: a spouse, co-worker, boss, in-law, or friend, who wears you down rather than builds you up?
While there is no guarantee they will change, I challenge you to pray for them and love them like Jesus. That, I can guarantee, will change you!