I was recently asked if my lack of retaliation when insulted was a strength or a weakness. In my pride I was deeply insulted that they might feel I was a coward letting others intimidate me. I wanted them to know it was my love for Jesus that motivated my absorption of evil. I verbalized to them that God in the Bible in Proverbs talks about wisdom overlooking an offense (I couldn’t remember the verse exactly). They cut me off by quickly saying, “it’s a strength” and left.
People who don’t know Jesus don’t understand us, His followers. They wonder how can someone be kind to someone who has just said to them, “I don’t like you, I don’t want you to help me, I want someone else.” Returning kindness when someone hurts you makes no sense. Unless, you have an allegiance to something higher than your own ego.
When I’m insulted I hurt. And the times I return kindness I don’t feel full of love at that moment. Many times I am dealing with the feelings of wanting retaliation as I am trying to express understanding to my attacker. Is this hypocrisy? Because my feelings don’t match up with my actions of love, satan tells me I am a hypocrite. He does this in hopes that I become confused and stop revealing the reality of Jesus to someone who desperately needs Him. However, the Truth is conflicting feelings do not negate the sincerity of righteous action. Feelings don’t think. They respond. Feelings follow footsteps. And when I am loving my enemy I may still be responding to the hurt he has caused me. As I continue to love my attacker, my feelings may catch up to my actions and I may eventually feel love for my enemy. Or, I may not. Either way I continue to act in the best interest of my attacker.
Because that’s what Jesus did for me when I was His attacker.