It was just your average, run of the mill day. My brother, Jamie, was driving and he dropped me off at the post office to mail some books. Then out of the blue, something happened to us that has never happened before. A stranger—-apparently angry that Jamie was in his parking space—began pointing and swearing and SPITTING at Jamie. Seriously—he spit at our car! When I came out of the post office, he was still yelling as he got into his car and pulled away. I think Jamie and I were both a little stunned and shocked (and maybe angry) as we pulled away and drove home. I mean, how are you supposed to respond when someone spits on you? A few days later I was talking to a friend. This time the story didn’t involve actual saliva but instead they told of a friend who had “spit” on their reputation by lying about them. Again, the question was asked, “How do you respond when someone comes to you and says, 'I wanted to apologize because I’ve been spreading lies about you around the community'”? I mean sure the apology was nice, but are they going to make it right and tell the truth? If not, how do you respond? What about the couple who went through the same experience but the apology never came? How do you treat someone who lies about you and feels no remorse? Yes, these are the days when the rubber hits the road when it comes to following Jesus. The times when our flesh knows exactly what it wants to do, yet the Holy Spirit inside says, “Do the right thing and demonstrate the love of Jesus.” Trust me when I say: It. Is. Hard. What do you when someone spits on you or your reputation? What does the Bible say: But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.
If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you……Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36)
Sounds hard, doesn’t it?
How is it even possible to do this?
How can you just walk away from a painful situation, forgive, and then PRAY BLESSINGS for someone who hurt you?
It seems ridiculous, and yet, I’ve seen over and over again in my life that it works. Over and over again, as I have experienced personal offense, betrayal, and many kinds of heartache from not just strangers but even those who claimed to be friends, I have seen the power of this principle in action. Time and again, as I have chosen to obey this Scripture, forgive, avoid the temptation to retaliate, and pray that God would bless those who did the inexcusable, the Holy Spirit has used my obedience to heal my heart and help me move on. I don’t understand how it works..but it does. Rather than living with the regret of retaliation or even the burden of bitterness, following this principles sets us free to follow Jesus and leave the person who hurt us in His hands. I’ve seen it over and over again.
So what do you do if someone spits on you? Obey the Bible and move on. If you are the one who did the spitting? (Either literally or on someone’s reputation). Make it right. Ask the person you hurt to forgive you AND make the proper restitution by telling the truth. Again, it won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do—-it’s actually the righteous thing to do. That’s what’s it means to follow Jesus.
To Read More About the Power of Following Biblical Principles, start Finding Healing.