Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bless Them Which Curse You

    "Bless them which curse you, bless and curse not" (Romans 12:14).
    Blessings involve verbal affirmations of God and of good.  The Apostle Paul commands that we respond to those who curse us with such words that express the Lord Jesus Christ and His ongoing purposes of redemption.
    The person who curses us disobeys the direct command of God - "Curse not."  What, therefore, can we say of God and of good about those who disregard His will?  First, we can affirm that the perpetrator "lives, moves and has his being" in God (Acts 17:28).  Indeed, the breath he used to curse us was breath received from the Lord who "giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).  This does not mean that God instigated the sin of cursing, but rather that He chose to allow the misused breath for His purposes in our lives.  By the time the curse reaches us, our Heavenly Father is loving enough, wise enough and powerful enough to fit it into His good purpose for our lives (Romans 8:28).  Thus, we bless the person who curses us by acknowledging the primary fact of his God-originated and sustained being.
    We then proceed to affirm that the person is in our lives by Divine providence and the possibility of our ministry to them.  We are given opportunity to reveal Christ by our response of grace rather than vengeance.  Those who curse us either need to be born again, or as believers, they need realization, repentance and restoration.  We therefore pray for the person that whatever the need, God will work to reveal the Lord Jesus in saving and restoring grace and truth.  We bless our accuser with prayerful intercession rather than curse them with spiteful bitterness. 
    Finally, if we have opportunity, we speak directly to the person with a completely different spirit, attitude and words than those which we received.  We may well be forthright and honest, but we nevertheless "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15).  "A soft answer turneth away wrath" declared Solomon, but even more, it reveals the character, nature and way of the Christ who alone can enable us to bless rather than curse (Proverbs 15:1).  Such revelation may well impact the bearer of curses with the redeeming power of the One who for his sake bore a cross.  Thus, our blessing of those who curse us becomes the basis of peace both in our hearts, and in those who receive from us words far different than they gave.
"Being reviled, we bless."
(I Corinthians 4:12)

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