I’m guessing you do a better job than I in praying for someone who mistreats you. In fact, I typically stink at it. When someone says unkind words, or displays hateful actions, or mistreats me in any kind of way, I struggle internally. My selfishness and desire to be right want to retaliate, to get back, to get even.
Lately, however, God is working on me in this area. (It’s not a lesson I’m enjoying learning, though.) In fact, He enabled me the opportunity to try it out last evening.
Someone I don’t know or don’t follow commented on one of my Instagram posts, and honestly, I was quite shocked last evening when I read it. My post was filled with encouragement (or at least I thought so), but this person disagreed on a minor part of my post (the coffee I picked up that day), and let me have it. To the point of indirectly called me an “Instagram bimbo,” and ending the comment with sarcasm.
How can someone turn something positive into something so negative?
For a second or two, I wanted to lash out. To respond back with something not so nice. I wanted to prove my point and be “right.” I took a breath, instead in that moment, and read it to my husband sitting across the room from me. He shot me one of his smirks and shook his head. “Someone’s trying to push your buttons.” Yep, I certainly felt those buttons being pushed.
Instead of reacting with my first inclination, I decided to be nice. After all, what kind of witness would I be if I sent back a snarky comment? Would that glorify God? Probably not. So, I simply responded to the unkind comment with a “thank you” and a thumbs up.
My mind then recited past statements tucked away for such a time as this:
“Haters are gonna hate.”
“No one has the power to negatively affect you unless you let them.”
“Hurting people hurt people.”
“Miserable people will try to make you miserable, too.”
“Don’t let one negative person ruin your day.”
All those helped me put this comment in perspective. What helped me the most, however, was recalling scripture.
What was it that Jesus said to do when someone mistreats me?
“Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you.’ However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them.Matthew 5:43-44 TPT
Yes. Pray. But wow. This translation spoke to my heart. As I moved back to the sink to finish the last of the dinner dishes, I silently prayed for this person. “God, bless this one who wrote unkind words. I don’t know this person but You do. Draw this one to You and reveal Yourself to him/her. Thank You for giving me the opportunity and enabling me to pray.”
It’s not easy for me to pray for someone who mistreats me.
Let alone to do something wonderful for the one who hates me.
Did you catch the words in the above scripture before the pray-for-those-who-persecute-you part? “…do something wonderful for the one who hates you…”
What if you and I reacted like that? What if we did something wonderful for the ones who hate us? Would it make a difference? I think it would. Is it easy? Absolutely not.
Yikes! Enable me to be that kind of person, Lord. I can’t do that or react like that on my own. Help me, Lord, to do something wonderful for the ones who hate me.
We likely cannot do this on our own, but with God’s help, we can.
He will enable us to do what we cannot.
Is there someone who hates you? Someone who you know just doesn’t like you? You may not even know or understand why. But, what “something wonderful” could you do for this person? What can I do for the ones who don’t like me?
Share any ideas you may have in the comments below.
I’m going to sit and ponder this for awhile and pray about it. I trust God will show me. I may not be able to do “something wonderful” for this Instagram commenter, but I desire my heart to be bent in that way and for that to be my natural response in the future. So, the next time someone mistreats me (or you), may God remind me (and you) to pray for him or her and to follow it up with something wonderful.
You are a blessing, friend. I’m so glad we get to walk this road of life together. Thank you for being here.