Responding God’s Way May Bring Surprising Results!
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.”
Human nature tends to want revenge. When someone treats you badly, it is natural to want to return the favor. But for those who are God’s children there is a better way. Our Father tells us always to seek after that which is good for ALL people – not just those who are nice to you. When a child of God is obedient to His command, sometimes the results are surprising!
The air hung heavy in the opposing team’s basketball gymnasium that day in 1984 not only because of the temperature created by sweating players and packed crowds, but also because of the intensity of the game and the attitude of the fans. As our team strained to stay in the game, my fellow cheerleaders and I struggled to cheer them on. It wasn’t so much the strong competition that frayed our nerves, but the hecklers who insisted on screaming disparaging comments at all of us.
The unrestrained fans made fun of our team’s uniforms, abilities, cheers, and anything else that came to mind. I am not sure where the faculty of the hosting school was because no one was making any effort to control the belittling behavior. It was completely unnerving.
Eyes darting back and forth, our squad members glanced nervously at each other. Our pasted on smiles belied our true feelings as we averted our eyes from the stands and tried our best to be positive by leading half-hearted cheers. As time dragged on the embarrassment started giving way to anger. How dare these immature idiots treat us this way!
The last buzzer finally heralded the end of a sorry game and we all grabbed our gear to rush to the bus. But suddenly something strange came over me. To the amazement of the other girls and even to myself, I marched over to the offending group and, with a smile and a voice that didn’t sound much like mine, said, “That was a wonderful game, folks. You really have some talented players. Congratulations on your win!”
Much to my surprise the sneering attitude of the group immediately changed. They stared at me with a look of confusion until one of the more outspoken ones said, “Ummm . . . your team hung in there pretty well, too!” The tension discharged, I turned and walked away with weak legs but a joyful heart.
I boarded the bus with a really good feeling. Despite the desire to return evil for evil the Lord had given me courage to respond in a way that was not humanly natural. And even if my attempt had not been rewarded the way it was, I learned a lesson: the Lord’s way is always best. Soft answers often do turn away wrath.
So next time you experience a situation where things are not going the way you wish, don’t return evil for evil. Respond God’s way by always seeking after that which is good for ALL people. You might be surprised by the results!