“Bless, and be blessed.”

The Word says, “Do not repay evil for evil, but on the contrary, bless , for this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”  1 Peter 3:9

There are many other verses in the Word that speak to this, for the Lord knows that we are unfairly treated at times by others in our lives.  There is no intention here to minimize the pain and suffering that someone can cause in another’s life.   We know that almost everybody has gone through bitter trials and disappointment at the hands of others –family members, teachers, supervisors, friends, neighbors, and some people that do not even really know us. The list goes on of course.
Not that we necessarily choose to, and not that we really want to, but when we are victimized, it is all too easy to respond with hate and resentment.  At times our own anger seems to know no bounds and as Max Lucado points out in his writing, there is a dangerous point at which our anger ceases to be an emotion and becomes a driving force.  Forgiveness of, or kindness to, a person who has dealt us a horrible blow is seemingly not on the table, and certainly we are not inclined to take the high road when we are wounded by another’s actions.
We need to remember, however, that the Biblical admonition to bless our enemies, or even pray for them, is so much more than just a suggestion.
The Lord’s ways are above our ways, and He is not telling us that the person causing our pain deserves our forgiveness.   Judgment is above our pay grade.  But He knows that our unforgiveness is our own undoing; it is choosing to stay in our own little jail cells in our minds, full of bitterness and resentment, serving time for the other fellow’s crime.  It hurts US!!
As any psychologist would tell you, when we do not forgive, we are the ones with clenched fists, tightened jaws, and bodies holding all the anger with thoughts of vengeance and retribution.  That is simply destructive, and can even lead to sickness within us.
We must remind ourselves that we cannot change other people, but we do have power over what we ourselves think and do.  Knowing that it is difficult to let go of our anger, then we should just take T.D. Jakes’ advice and pray, “Lord, change ME until it does not hurt anymore.”
Please look at today’s verse again.  It says, “Not repaying evil for evil, but rather blessing those who hurt us in word or deed, brings a blessing upon us.”   Blessing the person who hurt us lifts them up to the Lord, and puts them in His hands.  Only He knows the best way to handle the issue or situation.  Let us leave it to Him.   Let it GO to HIM, and get rid of the poison it can create within us.  Trust the Lord with it, and He will see to it that we receive our blessing.  So says the Word.  So it shall be done.

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