3.31.2008

More Vindictive

Every so often, you rub shoulders with somewhat of a nemesis - someone you just can't seem to get along with, no matter how hard you try.  I won't say in what circle this happened to me a couple of years ago, but I recall the tension escalating in our relationship over the course of several weeks. 

It finally defused when I did a good deed for him,  Not out of the goodness of my heart, mind you, but out of a desire to let him know I was a better man than him.  At the time, I thought immediately of Jesus' exhortation to love our enemies, that we might "pour heaping coals over their head."  I used to think that's what He meant: if you really want to get back at your enemies, do them good. 

Except that exactly not what Jesus meant.  Apparently, to pour heaping coals over someone's head is a Middle Eastern way to bless someone.  So what Jesus really meant was: if you have an enemy, bless them really, really big. 

Thankfully for humanity, God is far less vindictive than I.  I don't like the stories in the Bible that warn about people who don't forgive the smaller offenses when God has forgiven our larger ones, because they are uncomfortably convicting to me.  Thankfully for me, God is still in the business of changing hearts from the inside out, as I need a full transplant to heed His command to let go of vindictiveness and return offense with love.
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