[ Suffering for Doing Good ] Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions.
No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil
or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things. (1 Peter 3:8 MSG)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good,
pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
One of the greatest ways to change your thinking is to bless those for whom you have negative thoughts. The world’s
way of doing things is to hash and rehash the thoughts caused by old wounds and resentments. In all my years this has never served to rid me of these old patterns. The more often we think about these things the deeper ingrained they become.
Recently I heard a teaching which suggested that we bless these people instead of holding a grudge against them. This passage in 1 Peter tells us to say nothing evil or hurtful
and to run after peace. If have found in doing this my heart is softened towards people I thought were ambivalent toward me. Strangely enough it began to change my own feelings even though these people were not aware of my change in attitude.
Without these negative feelings the world looks much better to me. I’d say that is a blessing I get from blessing these.
It is strange how often we
become aware of how many times a day we have occasion to rehash these old thoughts when we make it a point to “catch” ourselves in the act. Changing the way I think does seem to be a part of my own transformation. It is so much nicer
to have happy thoughts than those old negative feelings that seemed always to bring me down.
God is going to have a kingdom where people will no longer be bound
by these angry feelings and instead will live together in harmony. Doesn’t the scriptures tell us that;
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)