Peace family, my mother used to challenge me with this statement: “You will never regret being kind to someone who does not deserve it.”
I recently got the chance to see someone else interact with a real jerk. No matter what the jerk said to him, he was kind back to him, and eventually, all that person could do was give up on being so derisive. I want to be more like the nice guy and less like the jerk, but what does that look like? How can I stay so focused on Jesus that I won’t react defensively to people who are rude, aggressive, or unjust with me?
It’s very difficult, and I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I think the choice of forgiveness plays a big part in the ability to do so. This week, I am trying to better live out Christ’s call to do good to those who hate me, and to pray for them more often. From what I understand, forgiveness is not saying that what someone did to you was ok, or having to be a doormat, or putting yourself back into unhealthy, damaging situations. Instead, forgiveness is choosing not to demand anything (internally or externally) from the person who hurt you: not their apology, not their remorse, not their suffering, and instead, moving on with your life and your own healing.
It’s also good to remember that God knows we aren’t perfect and that we’ll screw up sometimes, but he loves us anyway. He knows what aches are difficult for you to deal with. Just take baby steps and listen to his guidance, each day at a time.
Anyway, just a few thoughts from your friendly neighborhood Kat.