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I have probably said it a hundred times here already, but my grandparents had to be some of the wisest people that I have ever known. They weren’t perfect any more than the rest of us are, but they were wise. They had struggles in their lives and learned from them and tried to pass that knowledge and wisdom onto their grandchildren. I was often a very blessed recipient of their wisdom.
There was a time that I was having a big struggle with a girl. She didn’t like me and I didn’t like her. We were going to be family, so I had to find a way to civility somehow. My grandparents shared with me the section of the Bible that talks about praying good prayers and doing good for people that have hurt you.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
I was angry and hurt because of this person (and with myself) and wanted to just pray directly for the hot coals on this person. I was intending actual hot coals, which is not at all what this verse is saying. Grandma and Grandpa explained to me that this just isn’t how it works. I was to pray good, honest prayers for the person that had hurt me and not wish bad things on her. In the good prayers lay changes for the hearts of both the one that hurt me and my own.
So, I set about to make myself pray good prayers for her. At the beginning, it was through gritted teeth, clenched so tightly that I thought every one of them would pop loose from my mouth. They were right, though. It got easier with time. It was working a change in my heart, too. Then, the day happened in which we were tentatively civil to each other. That, too, got easier over time.
It kind of goes along with something that my mama told me years ago, which was, “Kill’em with kindness.” If people are being mean to you and you are nice to them in return, it just gets all under their skin and they don’t know how to act. It may lead them to repentance and, ultimately, to Heavenly Father.
So, drive your enemies crazy. Be nice to them! Mama said so. 🙂
Please be sure to read David’s post over at Random Thoughts and Observations.
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Source for Bible passage: Bible Gateway
Disclaimer: These Filipino word images are from an article by Isabelle Laureta on BuzzFeed titled “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credit goes to them.