Pay Back With Blessing

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. – (1 Peter 3:9, NIV)

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with blessing. That is what God had called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing. – (1 Peter 3:9, NLT)

Don’t do wrong to anyone to pay them back for doing wrong to you. Or don’t insult anyone to pay them back for insulting you. But ask God to bless them. Do this because you yourselves were chosen to receive a blessing. – (1 Peter 3:9, ERV)

 

We are called to respond in the opposite spirit when we are hurt by the words or actions of another. Though this contradicts the very nature within us, when we choose to bless when we want to curse, extend kindness when we’d rather kick, and offer hope where we’d rather return harm, so often the situation turns around and we are blessed by the outcome. Even when we are not, we can go forward knowing that we have walked in obedience with a clear conscience, rather than agonizing over what we should or should not have said or done. The ultimate outcome is in God’s hands, so we need not worry when blessing seems to do nothing to help. A prime place where this practice plays out in my life is in the classroom. When a student behaves poorly and I try to redirect with kindness and calm, identifying their strengths and abilities, often it is enough to get them to snap out of their funk and return to what is appropriate. We all have days where we choose poorly or are less than kind, and the very things that help us to reset and choose better are the blessings that come through the kindness of those around us. May we ever choose to extend blessings, even to those who wrong us, as God has chosen to give abundant blessings unto us.

 

Don’t repay evil, Aquiring Armor

With more of the same;

Firing back insults,

Or pointing out blame.

Instead, give blessings,

To all whom you meet;

This is our calling,

Mission to complete.

As we choose to bless,

We become blessed too;

Because we’ve obeyed,

As we’re called to do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your kindness and blessings unto us. Thank You that You direct and instruct us to steer clear of retaliating for the harm that people bring our way, and that instead, You arm us with strength to bless those who insult or do wrong against us. Forgive us for the times that we have repaid wrong with wrong, or returned insults instead of extending blessings. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen for Your voice and heed Your instruction as to how we can bless when we feel wronged, and give grace instead of retaliation. Show us how to love sincerely, even those who insult us or irritate us, as each is Your treasured creation. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ask You to bless those who bring us pain. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Choose to Do Good

Choose to Do Good
Fear not the slander,

nor malicious talk;

ready to answer,

when asked of our walk.

In our hearts, may Christ,

be proclaimed the Lord;

may hope be our hold,

the truth we afford.

With gentle respect,

and conscience that’s clear;

share the Source of hope,

so askers may hear.

He holds our right hand,

protects innocent;

shows those who slander,

His magnificence.

So choose to do good,

even when opposed;

for the final word,

is God’s to betroth.

The Lord is our help,

so be not dismayed;

provider of strength,

when we feel afraid.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – (I Peter 3:15-16)

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” – (Isaiah 41:10)

“For I am the Lord, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” – (Isaiah 41:13)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You that You strengthen us and hold us in Your hand when we feel afraid. Forgive us for staying silent when we were meant to speak, and teach us to trust You so that we may tell of Your faithfulness forever. Lead us and guide us in how we are meant to share of Your goodness in love, and let those who are looking, come to know and trust You. Thank You for Your presence and Your promises. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present