But I say unto you, 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)
Continuing with my previous reflection regarding my bullying incidents, in a situation where one is hurt physically or emotionally, many would have the mindset of resenting and even hating the people who have hurt them. This way of thinking becomes an instigator for other feelings/actions like revenge or to retaliate against those who harm us. It would be a lie if I said that I did not harbour feelings of resentment to those who bullied me at the time, which makes it apparent how powerful Christ’s love truly is for protecting me from being consumed by those negative feelings.
However, when people do get the moments where the tables have turned against the people that have hurt them, many are quick to be joyful over the occasion as it is seen as getting what one deserves. Remembering back at my last year in elementary school, it had become apparent that the ringleader of my bullies had the tables turned against her. So much so that even the ones who went along with her, ended up turning their backs on her. The bullier became the bullied.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
After all the hurt that I had gone through at her hands, it would have been just as easy for me to say she had finally gotten a taste of her own medicine. Yet, as I saw her getting shunned by a group of female classmates during our last school dance, it wasn’t satisfaction I felt about the situation but an overwhelming feeling of sadness and concern for her. Instead of leaving her to cry by herself in the girl’s change room, I made my concern for her known and comforted her during her time of need.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
In the same manner that God gave comfort to the Corinthians through persecution, God gave comfort to me during my time of need. And because of that comfort, I had been able to give the same comfort to my bullier despite all that had happened between us. Totally going against our carnal nature to retaliate, it filled me with more joy to help her rather than to carry a grudge against her. In the same aspect, knowing I’ve continually hurt Christ when I sin, if the tables were turned against me, I would be deserving of the judgement which awaited me. The fact that Christ still died to save me from my sins was proof that he wished me to also repent of my hurtful actions towards Him and enjoy the loving relationship He wishes to have with all of us.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Are you burdened with feelings of spite and hate for those who have hurt you? Do you continue to carry those feelings when you think of these people? I pray that to you may come to experience the strongest comfort that can only come from Jesus Christ which, can not only comfort you in times of need, but can strengthen you to be able to remove the burdens that come from holding grudges against others who have hurt you.