Today’s psalm and passage from Deuteronomy focus on God’s authority and the truth in His word. They are a reminder to me (us) that we need to read and meditate on the Bible with regularity so that we can better understand what God has in store for our lives.
1 Peter 3, though written nearly 2,000 years ago, still is relevant today, and is something that we need to hear now more than ever I think. Although I’m sure that there have always been issues with people repaying evil deeds with more evil deeds, I feel like as time goes on, it is happening more and more often. That may not be true, but at least it seems that way. I spent some minutes scrolling through Facebook this morning, like I do every day for more time than I’d like to admit, and it is disheartening to see how people “talk” to each other over social media. If I post something that you disagree with, and you would like to have a discussion/argument about that over social media, that’s fine. I have no problem with you disagreeing with me, because I learn from your perspective. But there is no reason to go down the road of hateful words. Yet, it only takes less than a minute of reading a thread on any news media post to see just how ridiculous people can be. How childish adults can be. And we wonder why kids bullying kids seems to be worse now than ever; it’s because adults model that behavior themselves.
Now as I type this, I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve never been guilty of getting angry at someone and quickly find myself trying to get back at them. Guilty as charged. Not so much on social media, but if someone cuts me off driving down the road and I’m laying on the horn. (Confession is good for the soul). I used to get much more aggravated than I do now. I guess I’m becoming more mellow of a driver as I get older. But also, what’s the point at retaliating. It doesn’t help the situation even just a little bit.
So today I’d like to challenge all of you (and also challenge myself) to remember in those times when others are being unkind, to say the least, that we follow the words of Jesus (Matthew 5:38-40) to turn the other cheek. It doesn’t mean being a pushover either. It’s okay to stand up for yourself when necessary. But there is a fine line between standing up for yourself and getting back at someone. So I pray for us all today that we are able to show grace and mercy to those who are unkind, and that we don’t cross over that line to where we are seeking retaliation.