Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Luke 6:28 NLT
I'm about to say something that will likely neither shock nor surprises you–there are some angry and abusive people in this world. Folks who are often unhappy with themselves and find a modicum of pleasure in taking it out on others. They require no provocation; they're simply haters. Fortunately, this isn't the majority of people, but when we encounter even one, it's too many.
This situation is nothing new. It started the day Cain killed Abel in a fit of rage. The fully human Jesus also was no stranger to hatred and abuse. From the time he began his ministry, one group or another sought to kill him. But the diving Jesus understood what happens when we respond to fire with fire. When we do so, we become one of the unhappy haters. Instead, Jesus proposed something different, a spiritually healthier approach, "But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you." (6:27)
Like all of Jesus' teachings though simple in concept, they are often challenging to implement. Our baser instincts desire to lash out, giving back what we got–the old eye for an eye thing. Sometimes when we do this, not just the target of our anger but innocents are caught in the hatred. Satan then sits back and chuckles with glee at the fine work we do in destroying ourselves.
The good news here, of course, is we have a Helper. The Father has given us the Holy Spirit to do the right thing when our sinful selves desire the other. Living by the Spirit, we can treat those unhappy haters with God's love. Only through its lens can we see them for the lost children of our Father they are.
Heavenly Father, may we walk with the Holy Spirit and listen to its guidance at all times. When we face those, who curse and abuse us, help us to respond as Jesus Christ with love. Help us to see them as siblings who need our help. Amen.