‘Do not repay evil with evil…’ 1 Peter 3.9
It is important to monitor what words and experiences we allow to sink into us and have an effect. Suppose negative words are spoken to you. This is evil in the sense that it is certainly not what God wants for you. Your calling is to forgive the person involved, but you also have a responsibility to handle the words wisely. If you accept them and allow them to linger on in your mind, then you have absorbed something that is less than God wants and you will be affected in a negative way.
Peter says that the opposite of repaying evil with evil is to bless, and when bad things are said to you, make a point of holding firm to the truth of what God thinks of you – that you are loved and cherished by him and worth the death of Jesus.
It is never God’s desire that you live under the power of any negative words spoken to you or against you, but rather that you live in the knowledge of his love for you. Instead of accepting and dwelling on such words, accept and dwell on his love.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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