“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 19:18
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” – Romans 12:19-20
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” – Matthew 5:38-41
Christian Bible Lesson Overview
You will not benefit over time if you mistreat other people. Even if the same people mistreated you. Sometimes it is very difficult to understand that treating people who harmed you with respect is much more challenging than standing up to them and trying to match their abuse.
In the end, the person with the most respect is the one who has the strength to stand up to bullying and demonstrate self-control and show care for those who harmed them. Not all bullies will respect a righteous person, but righteous people will live with the knowledge that they did not contribute to abusing other people.
Christian Lesson For Today
When I started my own business, I was young, twenty-eight years old. I had experience working with other people when playing football in college and being a pilot in the Marine Corps, but I did not have significant experience with multiple people who had different motives. In business staff members have motives, customers have motives, people from other businesses have motives, and your friends and family members have motives. I learned quickly that you can be attacked from several directions if you are not careful.
The first challenge I faced was when my staff members questioned discounts and special considerations to the customers. At first, my reaction was to tell them that I owned the business and had the right to give any customer special consideration. I made sure everyone knew I was in charge.
Then one of my competitors began to spread rumors that the quality of my company’s service was not good. I immediately began to start rumors about that competitor. Of course, then the other company repeated the rumors.
Then a customer was rude to me on the phone. I responded to him with plenty of disrespectful comments of my own.
My new company was falling apart before it had a chance to grow. I thought about my situation and tried to determine what was causing the problems. My company offered good service at a fair price. I talked to a close friend about my situation. I discussed the details of the challenges with the staff, competitors, and customers.
My friend thought about the challenges for a while and then he told me that the common factor among all the challenges was that when I felt threatened, I made my own threats. It was the same situation with the staff members, competitors, and customers. If I was challenged by any of them, I fought back so I would not look weak.
I thought about what my friend told me. I did not think he was right at first, but after I thought about it, I realized he could be right. I decided to work hard to listen to criticism and have a positive response. When a staff member challenged me, I thanked them for their input. I did not always implement their suggestion, but I never attacked them. I used the same approach with competitors and customers. It did not help every time but I had way more friends and there were people ready to support me when I needed help.
Christian Lesson Summary
When you are attacked it is important to pause then think about the situation. Striking back at the other person instead of working to resolve the difference is not the answer to developing friends and improving your life.