Any mother has said…and every child has at one time or another heard…”if they hit you, you hit them back”. Those of us who grew up in the African-American community may have heard it a little differently: if they start it you better finish it. We have all heard our parents, aunties and uncles reminisce on Big Momma and Big Daddy threatening them with “If you scared to fight them, you gotta come home and fight me!”. I myself, at one time, could be quoted as saying “next time they say that to you, you say ‘YO MOMMA!”‘. *My niece was particularly good at this response. Admittedly, it’s not my proudest moment…and conversely so, it is NOT how one should handle those that do you wrong.
I was praying about what to blog about this week…kinda flipping through old pics and screenshots of Bible Verses. And nothing. I googled something like “trials when you are trying to do God’s will”. Hey Sis is coming up on our second Vision Board Party and I have noticed that before EVERY Hey Sis event, I have drama and attacks and trials and storms….a mess. Either I catch a cold or my brakes go out or….you catch my drift. And while I know 99.9 % of it is meant to stop me from building the kingdom of God, sometimes its hard to weather the storm. I would rather go climb under the covers then let it rain on my head!
I was going to blog about that. But somehow I happened upon 1 Peter 3:8-13
8 Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as members of one household], and humble in spirit; 9 and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one another’s well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection].10 For,“The one who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not],Must keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from speaking guile (treachery, deceit).11 “He must turn away from wickedness and do what is right.He must search for peace [with God, with self, with others] and pursue it eagerly [actively—not merely desiring it].12 “For the eyes of the Lord are [looking favorably] upon the righteous (the upright), And His ears are attentive to their prayer (eager to answer), But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil.”
13 Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good?
And I got wrecked!
God wants us to strive for unity. At all costs. We should have sympathy for each other. The Greek word translates such that when we see others going through something, “let your bowels yearn over the distressed and afflicted”. We should feel for others…genuinely feel…like bubble guts FEEL for them (not literal bubble guts. I’m just trying to drive the point home). We should be nice and friendly and cultivate friendships. HOW OFTEN do we not speak, simply because they look different then us, because “I just don’t get along with females” (spare me) or “I heard…..”.
Here is the wreckage: return good for evil. Whet? Praying good on those that wish you evil. WHAT?! Who wants to do this? Not I. I have shared in our Hey Sis Hangouts …I used to pray “Ok God…you want me to pray for this fool. Ok. Here goes. Dear God. Smite him. Hard. In Jesus name. Amen”. And then would go on about my day. If David was praying stuff like that, why the heck can’t Vee?! Imagine my dismay and disdain when my Pastor broke down the whole “bless them that despitefully use you and persecute you” verse. Tried real hard not to listen. God kept my ears open.
This passage says “This is your calling – your business in life, to do good, and to do good for evil, and implore God’s blessing even on your worst enemies. Go to God on behalf of them, and ask Him to bless them.
We don’t live in a time for this. We are too busy with the “You do you, I’ma do me” mentality. The “whatever I said behind your back best believe I will say to your ugly mug when I see you” mentality. But the Bible says, when we profess Christ, our calling, our purpose, is to do good…even to them! We profess Christ with our mouths. It’s a declaration. Our actions…the way we live, is our proof. We are in a society full of “what’s my purpose?”. We have life coaches and find your purpose teleconferences. I’m not knocking it. But what I am saying is, God gave us the first step in finding our purpose: do good. To everyone. Even them!
The passage goes on to say, watch your mouth! No lying, slander, spreading stuff. In other words….no more spilling of the tea! And stop listening and saying stuff just because, to appease, to be mean or hypocritical. Be intentional about your speech. Stay away from evil! Like those dumb videos on social media. Or watching arguments play out on the internet (true story: One time I watched some serious drama play out on facebook. Full fledged, he cheated, they squared up through their computers, and everybody had an opinion, drama. I had popcorn, tea AND a system. I went from her page to his page to that other page then back to her page. Not knowing, my own life was imitating the same thing. TRUE story). Walk right, upright, circumspectly. ACT like you got some Godly sense. BEHAVE like you represent Jesus Christ. CONDUCT yourself so that your ways please God, rather than your flesh. Be nice to all. Live in peace with all, as best you can.
I sat here stunned, like GOD but do you KNOW what he/she/they did to poor innocent, docile, bacon loving VEE?! They did me dirty.
And God said:
I’m watching. I know. I see it all. I’m working. You are under my notice and my care, dear sweet daughter. I hear your prayers. All of them. Chill. Eat your bacon.
Verse 13: When you are a Christ follower…a doer of His word….and imitator of Christ….a lover of Christ…enthusiastic for what is good…THEY CAN’T HURT ME!!
Those weapons form…but they don’t prosper. God takes care of His own…