Pray for them which despitefully use you. Luke 6:28
Don Shula, head coach of the Miami Dolphins American Football team, always held his players to ‘the 24-hour rule.’ He gave them 24 hours to celebrate victory or sulk over defeat, then put it behind them. What a great rule to live by!
When you’re criticised it’s human to want to retaliate, but when you take the time to try and understand people it’s easier to forgive them. Many of the negative people in our lives just lack intimate relationships, so they keep others at arm’s length, rarely share their feelings and are uncomfortable with those who do. It’s easier for them to condemn than accept. Their hard and fast views make them inflexible. Often these people can’t handle freedom; they need rules that limit their choices, and only feel secure within their own boundaries.
Abraham Lincoln said, ‘If I tried to answer all the attacks made against me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the best I know how. If the end brings me out right, then what is said won’t matter. If the end brings me out wrong, then ten angels declaring I was right would make no difference.’
In dealing with others, always take the high road laid out by Jesus: ‘Pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either…just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise’ (Luke 6:28-31 NKJV). Is that always easy to do? No, but it always pays off!
Pastor Charity Kamau
Kenyan Community Interdenominational Church