We live in a hard world. Or, as some have called it, a “dog eat dog world.” As the oldest child in my family, I was the first to go to school. It didn’t take long to learn that the kids there weren’t all very friendly. I can remember quickly learning to protect myself against the verbal assaults that came my way. If someone hurt me, I hurt them back. Later, I learned to hurt people before they hurt me! Looking out for my little brothers and sisters, I taught them to trade barbs, too. I didn’t want them to be unarmed when they went to school. Plus, I got to try out some of my best material right there at home! After I gave my life to Christ, I learned Jesus conducted Himself much differently. “Turn the other cheek” and similar sayings once seemed far from who I’d ever be, but He’s slowly done a work on my heart. Now I’m slower to respond, and I’m much less likely to respond in anger. I’m afraid none of us will ever be perfect with this one, but it sure is a great area to strive for perfection in.
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9