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Bless those who curse you?
Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed an increase in vile behavior, especially on social media. According to recent research, 41 percent of internet users had personally experienced some kind of online harassment or bullying.
I have personally witnessed life-long friends ‘unfriend’ each other; families fractured if not completely broken by political and social differences and disagreements. The stress, anxiety, and isolation of the Pandemic exacerbated the anger, hatred, and malcontent.
When you post content on your social media page with which someone vehemently disagrees, there’s a high likelihood they’re going to respond. Often that response comes across in a snarky, sarcastic, and generally disparaging manner. Some people are downright vicious and abusive in their response to things that are in contrast with your opinions or beliefs.
Don’t even get me started on gossip and those who talk about you behind your back.
How could you possibly bless them?
Because it’s what Jesus calls us to do. Easier said than done though. Our natural instinct is to curse them back, retaliate, and defend our honor. These are pride-based responses. God calls for us to humble ourselves. We honor Him when we ‘love our enemies and do good.’ - Mark 6:35
As we say in the south: “Bless their heart.” The term has multiple connotations, often a negative one. However, the intent is to offer up something sweet to avoid something sour. In rural communities, “bless your heart” is not used as a catty zinger but rather as an expression of genuine sympathy.
When you sincerely bless someone who has harmed you in some way, be it an insult, disrespect, disparagement, idol gossip, or if they cut you off on the freeway, you take away their power over you, either physically or mentally.
Blessing someone who has harmed you is not just a Christian response. Research has shown that forgiveness is linked to positive mental health outcomes such as reduced anxiety and depression as well as improved physical health and lower mortality rates.
So, next time you feel offended, hurt, rejected, or someone’s being a hater, just say a little mental ‘bless their heart’- and mean it!
“…For your reward is great in heaven.” - Luke 6:23.