It may come as a shock that at least one of the ladies I have so highly described in my posts erstwhile has treated me with public contempt and never sought my pardon, and I am considering penning another post about a woman who has used me even worse. We may think it an unwise gesture to shower them with praise and show their good side to the world. We may consider that it is foolishness and weakness in a person to recklessly forgive and continue to see positive attributes in others who have done them continual disservices. Not so.
Consider with me for a moment what happens when we find ourselves injured by the actions of others. We may experience shame, betrayal, mistrust and the like. This surely seems quite normal and so it was with me regarding the woman in question. But when we allow those feelings to continue, when we hold to our pain and cherish our grudges, we find ourselves emotionally and spiritually hobbling through life with barriers all about us. Is it not so? We cannot walk into that room with a smile and warmly, genuinely greet everyone in it because he or she is there. We cannot consider that all the world is bright and glorious because of that blockage of bitterness in our own psyches. We cannot extend love to the entire human race and follow our Master Jesus Christ in fullness of heart, because we refuse to extend love and compassion to that one person.
I regularly scroll through my mind and the characters who make up the story of my life and pick out those who dislike me the most, or those who I find it most difficult to openly embrace. I consider them, pray for their happiness, consider what I can do to serve them, and open up my own heart to seeking their welfare. I may not fully trust them, and perhaps may not allow them too near my vulnerable feelings to inflict damage, but I will lay out compliments and act with marked kindnesses.
Quite honestly, when people wrong us, shall we continue to live in anger? They have injured us enough, and are we to also hand to them our peace, our happiness, our outlook on life and our comfort? Have they deserved that of us by their high and exalted behavior? Hardly. One may argue that kindness toward them will not change their behavior. I would not expect their behavior to change. If they choose to target me with hatred and belittlement so be it. If they choose to twist their shorts into various knots over me, that is their choice. My choice is still to see the good in them and appreciate that perhaps they may be excellent people in their own way but that I personally don't seem to be quite their cup of tea.