Let’s be honest: it feels good to be the one to say, ‘I told you so.’ When your warnings go unheeded and the consequences befall the person just as you predicted, you can’t help but feel ‘all-knowing.’ Next time, she’ll take my words seriously, you think haughtily.
There’s a fine line between being on the right side, giving advice or warning to someone who clearly needs it and being on the other side where you hold it over the person’s head for being right. You may be the victim of someone making your life a living hell and may wish for justice to prevail but your attitude when justice does prevail could make you look like the bad guy at the end of the day.
Proverbs 24:17-18 says,
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord sees it and be displeased and turn his anger from him. (RSV)
Bottom line is, God loves us all whether we are good or bad. He created each one of us in His image and likeness and it would please Him very much if none would perish but all would come to know and experience His amazing grace.
God is just but also merciful and if we are to reflect his nature, so should we be. That is why I have a personal problem with pastors who tell us pray for the death of our enemies. I know some people can make it their life’s mission to make life horrible for some of us and it would be only natural to wish them dead as that would seem like the only way for us to live in peace. But that man or woman isn’t the enemy; the devil is. It’s just unfortunate that some people have availed themselves to be used as puppets by the devil. Jesus came to die for them too and cares for their souls just as much as he does for those of us in His kingdom.
I guess that is why I found it difficult to rain curses on that man who scammed me two years back. Looking back, I admit I was desperate and that is why I didn’t see the red flags. What he did was heartless but though it was my right to wish him ill, I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything against him. This particular Bible verse managed to stick in my head after I read it sometime back and stopped me from talking evil of him. You know what I did, instead? I prayed for him. I prayed that he will be saved so he doesn’t do that to anyone else. It wasn’t easy, I must confess as I was praying in a moment of deep hurt but that’s what I did. I don’t know where the strength came from to do that but that’s what I did.
When a brother falls, let’s rebuke him in love and help him get back up. Shunning him to deal with the shame alone is not an act of love and the Christian community should desist from that. We seem to forget that we are all fallible and we have no right to judge someone just because he/she sinned differently from us. If God can accept our flawed selves, why can’t we accept one another?
Gloating is a slippery spot. Choose to forgive and amend. Taking it too far only makes you look like the bad person. Pray for them and then let go. Life is too short.
© Josephine Amoako 2018
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