“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them….Never pay back evil with more evil…”
Romans 12:14, 17a
When someone hurts you, the easy option is to be angry with them and want to hurt them back. It takes courage and it takes love, to forgive and let go. As Christians, we have a choice to not be angry, to not hold a grudge, and to not want revenge. Our choice is this; to go against our natural feelings of revenge and instead bless those who persecute us. It almost feels unjust that we can’t get revenge on those who have hurt us, but actually, it is grace, love and joy that will prevail in the end.
If you look back after you have forgiven someone instead of taking revenge, it can sometimes feel like that the object of your anger was so small anyway. Furthermore, revenge never ends. If you don’t forgive and let go, you will never be able to get out of the cycle of bitterness and un-forgiveness and will always have a feeling of un-settled revenge.
As you end a year and start another, reflect on whom God might be prompting you to forgive and bless instead. Don’t pay back evil with more evil but rather live in the opposite spirit. If Jesus on the cross blessed His murderers and forgave them, then we should do the same too.