Daily Devotional: Psalms 35:11-18
11 Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about. 12 They repay me evil for good and leave my soul forlorn. 13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, 14 I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. 15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; attackers gathered against me when I was unaware. They slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. 17 O Lord, how long will you look on? Rescue my life from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. 18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Jesus said we are to love our enemies, pray for them and not mistreat them, even when they spitefully mistreat us for doing what is right. If we are slapped in the face by someone, we are to turn the other cheek rather than retaliate. This goes against every fiber of our being and against what most of us were taught from a very early age. Our human nature tells us to get even or at least to fight back; not just stand there and take it. How can we do what Jesus said?
We begin by loving others as God loves us. Even when we were his enemy, he loved us anyway and gave his Son to die for our sin. When we deserved to die, he offered us life. Coupled with this love, instead of anger and resentment toward those who mistreat us, we feel compassion and mercy. This allows us to let God take care of getting even. When we trust God to take care of things, we get rid of our anger, our resentment and frustrations and replace them with the peace that only God can give. So we forgive, even when they don’t ask for it.
Heavenly Father, fill me with your Spirit so I can love others as you love me. Give me a heart of compassion instead of resentment. Help me forgive those who have done me wrong, even as you have forgiven me for all I have done against you. Use me to share your love with others in both word and in my actions. God, I thank you for my family and my friends and ask you to help me be all you want me to be toward each of them. Please be with those who are struggling to be faithful in serving you and give them your strength. I pray in the name of Jesus.