“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” – Romans 12:14
The small, dark-haired lad standing on the corner shouted a curse word across the sidewalk at a tall middle-school-aged girl who stood quietly waiting for the school bus. Then he paused and said in a voice full of mockery, “Sorry Miss Christian! Hey Miss Christian, I burned a cross today!”
This verbal abuse went on for a number of days; then came the rock throwing. As my daughter walked up the hill to our home from the bus stop, this boy would chase after her and throw small stones in her direction. He laughed when one would hit her.
During this time of persecution, my daughter would walk into the house in distress telling me about how mean the neighbor boy had been once again. He knew she was a Christian because his stepsister was my daughter’s friend and had come to church with us several times. I decided to start praying for this young boy, and my daughter did too. We prayed that he would stop bothering her, and we also made a point to be nice to him when he was around, despite his harshness and disrespect.
A little more than a week after we started to pray, he came over and apologized to my daughter for all that he had said and done! I was amazed, and my daughter did not believe him at first. However, his actions from that day on proved that he had meant what he said. My daughter was glad that she had not talked back to him or told other schoolmates about his rudeness. In fact, she had even helped him by sharing notebook paper and a pencil with him in class when he had forgotten his at home.
No form of persecution is fun, but if we pray for those causing us grief and ask the Lord to help us be kind and polite to them, the Lord will guide us and help us get through the situation.
Is some form of persecution touching your life today? Instead of getting angry or wishing misfortune on those who torment us, we can pray for them. Then, we could bring them their favorite coffee and a donut, or share something we have that they need. If we do this, we will be blessed and strengthened spiritually. Our response to persecution may even help someone learn about the Lord and His love!
May we remember to bless them that persecute us, and treat them with unconditional love, as the Lord does to each of us.
Author: Myma Rudolph