In her January 18th “For Better or for Worse” comic strip, Lynn Johnson has the little toddler desperately searching in her toy cupboard for something. Finally she finds what she wants. A toy on two wheels that when you tow it around; it makes all sorts of loud and wonderfully weird noises.
So there she is happily wandering around the house followed by all sorts of loud noises. Much to her great pleasure but also much to the discomfit of her mother, who you see standing with an exasperated look on her face and her fingers in her ears.
At which point her husband sidles up and says, “ We never did thank my sister for sending that thing did we?”
Reminds me of the old Chinese Proverb that says,” Don’t get even with your neighbour who hurts you. Buy each of his children a Drum for Christmas.”
Both sound funny don’t they? But how often do we act like that, hey? On the surface we do something, which outwardly looks good and nice, and kind, but deep down, it has a dark and nasty implication?
It may make us feel good for a time, but in the end, it just breeds further retaliation. So it is far better to simply follow this advice that the Apostle Paul Gives in His Book of Romans in the bible.
There in chapter 12, verses17- to 20 he gives this solid advice:”17Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God;* for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ 20No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
So how are you going to respond to the slights and insults of others, this year? By repaying like for like? Or perhaps by some underhanded method, like a noisy toy or Drum, as a so-called present? Or by being kind to them and hopefully turning them from an enemy to a friend because eof you Kindness?
What say you? Because this really is something that you really can directly direct, even if not completely control. So will you?