I’ve realized something anew about myself.  I am a vindictive person.  Perhaps not so much in action, but certainly in  my head.  I can’t tell you all the terrible things I think to do to someone who has hurt me, all the ways that I want them to hurt the same way I hurt.  The only redeeming factor is that I don’t act on these impulses, but even that is tainted because I think my motivation is so that others around me don’t know what a truly awful person I am.

But Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-48, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

And Paul said in Romans 12:17-21, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

I’ve got a long way to go.

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