How do you treat those who wrong you?



Question: “When someone has wronged you, how should you respond?”



Bible Answers

The typical response to someone having wronged you is to want to strike out at the person.  But revenge is not God’s way. The first time Jesus spoke about praying, he said


43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’


44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully accuse you, and persecute you;


45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.


46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

 

48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:43-46, 48).


Verse 44 says to love, bless, do good, and pray for those who are your enemies, curse you, hate you, accuse you, and persecute you.


You will not be able love them without divine love to love your enemies.  You will only be able to love them if you have been born again and the nature of your heart has been changed with His love.


Verse 46 says that those of the world loves those who are good to them, but we need to be better than the unsaved, we need to love those who do not love us with Godly love.


Verse 48 says that we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. Jesus knew that we could not be as perfect as God. He was saying that our love is to grow in the God kind of love. As we mature in God’s love, we will grow in our ability to love our enemies.


As God so often does, He gives both a commandment, Love your enemies and the result of disobedience.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:15).


Does God love His enemies? Romans 5:8 tells us, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We are to follow God’s example and love our enemies.  We love them by blessing them and praying for them. Returning kindness for evil is God’s way and sets us free from hatred and unforgiveness.


If we have grown in the Lord, we will pray for our enemies and not criticize or talk about them. Now you may say, “You just don’t understand what they have done to me.” When our model, Jesus, was hanging on the cross in pain and bleeding, He did not curse them but prayed for them and ask the Lord to forgive them (Luke 23:34).


The same love that was in Jesus’ heart has come into our hear by the Holy Spirit.


As you learn to love, bless, do good, and pray for those who offend you, you will become perfected in the God-kind of love. As you grow in the God-kind of love, you will grow in your ability to love those who abuse you as well as grow in your ability to love those who love you. You will become more like Christ.

 


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