There are times in this life when someone says something vicious and cruel to us that is completely unjustifiable. In those times we can only do one thing. We can only control our reaction to that comment and that person. This is one of the most difficult things to do in life. We want to erupt, defend and hurt that person back in retaliation. However, if we take away the initial hurt and emotion from the situation and are able to explore it rationally we will have a different reaction. When we eliminate the emotion and we look at the reason behind the cruelty we usually find a very sad, disgruntled, unhappy and somewhat unbalanced person on the other end of the cruelty. People who are happy with their lives don’t waste the time it takes to hurl insults or start gossip to hurt others. People who are genuinely content in life truly want the same for others.
So what can we do to make the situation better?
We can pray for the person who has hurt us. We can try to understand that usually that comment is not about us it is about their poor self esteem. Most people insult others to make themselves feel better. I recently read an article by Father Ron Knotts – a columnist for The Record and I think this quote really explains the situation: “we have to stand up to the judgment of those who know us as we are now and are loathe to watch us change into someone else who might challenge their comforts, habits and values.” I think he is completely right. Sometimes the way we live our lives challenges others and they lash out at us. As difficult as it is we need to forgive them, pray for them and let it go.
It is so challenging to pray for someone who has hurt us. It is difficult to forgive someone who has not asked for forgiveness. If we choose to hold on to that hurt it will become like a cancer that eats away at our goodness. Jesus Christ turned the other cheek. Not only did He turn the other cheek He was able to forgive those people who hung Him on that cross and pressed the crown of thorns into His head. Yes, He was God but He was also human. If Jesus Christ is truly who we choose to follow then we are called to turn the other cheek and forgive those in our lives as well.