1 Thessalonians 5:15
See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
It's funny, I was talking to my six year old about something very similar the other day. My son did something to his sister that was rude and I told him we don't treat people like that in our house. I told him that we respond with love and kindness. And that if that wasn't possible, that we just don't respond at all. My six year old chimed in, "Yeah, but you can be mean to someone only if they are mean to you first." I quickly and gently corrected her and reiterated what I had just told my son. It is never ok to be mean to someone, even if they are the ones who are mean first.
Responding to evil with evil only continues the cycle of evil. When you respond to evil with love, kindness, or even ambivalence, you are breaking the cycle. You are choosing to discontinue the projection and absorption of evil. It isn't easy, what's right never is. Regardless, we have to set a different example for our children who will learn how to react and respond through our own reactions and responses. It is easier to say than to do and I understand that but I think if we have the desire to not allow that which is evil to penetrate our skin that we are already ahead in our defense of evil.
We need to stand strong in our faith and in Him. We need to understand that no evil can shake us because He is holding us firm. We need to be an example of His everlasting love for us by choosing not to respond to evil with evil but to respond to evil with kindness. No one can hurt us when He is protecting us. No one can break us when He is holding us together. Evil can be like an outbreak, spreading quickly throughout the community, but so can love.
I have said before that when I was going through my most difficult and dark time in my life, I was not pleasant to be around for anybody. I'm sure that I was spreading and responding with evil to the world around me. When I found a parish that responded to me with love, His love, I felt my trajectory changing. Let's change the trajectory of those around us because so many times that evil is a reflection of a person in pain. Instead of trying to harm, let's try to heal. Please God, help me to see through the evil and respond with love. Thank You for sending me Your love in my time of pain when I was responding with evil.
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