Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. – Luke 6:28 (NLT)
Don’t you hate it when people pick on you? Or maybe not even you, but you see all the hate in the world. You see kids being bullied for the dumbest things, and see people in the world being unkind and hate all around. And it can make you really feel disillusioned about people and the future.
Here’s the thing. You can’t change other people. People are going to do bad, ugly, and horrible things. And this has been happening since the beginning of time. Just think about Abel who was killed at the beginning of Genesis, simply because his brother got jealous of him.
Realizing that you can’t change someone else can make it all seem pretty helpless. However, we’re not left helpless or without power. In the Bible, we’re challenged to do something different. When people curse you, you’re to bless them. When someone hurts you, you are to pray for them.
How crazy is that? That’s not usually my first response, praying for someone when they treat me badly. Yet that’s what the Bible encourages us to do. The Bible doesn’t promise that people will always treat us well. It doesn’t tell us those horrible things will stop in the fallen world we live in. What it does do is to tell us to pray for those people and bless them.
Prayer can do what we can’t do. And when we pray for and bless those who do bad things to us, we’re helping ourselves and them too. Instead of allowing people to hurt us, we’re forgiving and asking God to help them! Wow. What would our world look like if we spent time each day praying for those people around us doing bad things?