Bless Those Who Curse You [Part 2]
Are you ready for some good news?
It’s possible to bless your enemies – and when you do, you release extraordinary power for transformation.
Paul was explicit about this in his letter to the Christians in Rome.
Today’s Text: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” (Romans 12:14, ESV)
The command is, of course, counter intuitive in every sense.
Our college-aged son, Bennett, was helping teach a Vacation Bible School class last summer when two of the little boys got into a scuffle. One kid was clearly being mean toward the other. Bennett pulled the victimized kid aside for a “teachable moment.”
Bennett: “You know what we do when people are mean to us?”
Little boy: “What?”
Bennett: “We’re nice to them instead of being mean back.”
Little boy: “Well that’s stupid.”
Ha! Haven’t we all felt that way at some point? The flesh (our sinful nature) has an appetite to even things out. Our carnal minds can’t seem to rest until we’ve been at least as mean to the perpetuator as he was toward us.
But our appetites aren’t reliable truth barometers. I’m writing this devotional late at night. Earlier this evening I had a small piece of pie. It was my wife’s homemade chocolate chess pie… I just felt my mouth water a little bit. It’s that good. After eating one piece, my flesh wanted another. In fact, I would have liked to have eaten four pieces. But, thankfully, my mind took over with a rational thought: “You are going to put on pounds if you eat all that pie and you won’t be happy about it one bit. Your stomach is telling you, ‘You need another piece of pie,’ but, truth is, you don’t. Just let it go.”
There were two truths at play. My flesh wanted a second or third piece of pie. My hunger was true. But there was a bigger truth at work. I didn’t need the pie and it wouldn’t be good for me. The higher truth had to take priority.
When someone has cursed you, your flesh is naturally going to want to curse back. But there is a higher truth available. You’re like a farmer sowing seed. Orange seeds produce orange trees and oranges, never apples. Whatever you sow you reap. Your flesh wants to hurt back. That’s a truth. But there is a higher truth. Hurting someone in return is like sowing more of the bad seed that started the hurt in the first place.
You don’t have to return evil for evil. Blessing is powerful not just for friends but for foes as well. You can bless your enemies. And that’s the Gospel!
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