Return Blessing for Reviling

Read 1 Corinthians 4:11-16

“And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it” (v. 12).

At the local grocery store one day a pastor was noticed by a man who had just entered. Very loudly, the man addressed the pastor telling a story, equating preachers with Adolf Hitler's fanaticism. The pastor listened politely and went on his way. Later, this man apologized to the pastor saying that he had not meant to intimate that all pastors were like Hitler. The pastor responded graciously but the libelous words still hurt. Another time a pastor was accosted by an alcoholic who proceeded to rail and rant against one of his church members for half an hour. The pastor attempted to listen politely, while holding the accusations in suspension of belief, seeking some way to minister to the hurting man. It hurts when the world shouts accusations and works to harm God's people, even though we may be able to dismiss the accusations as false. What really hurts is when God's people turn on us, accusing us of evil motives. Yet we are called to bless even when we are reviled. (David Woods)

Is there someone who has spoken evil of you recently for whom God would have you say a prayer of blessing?

This devotional is the Wednesday, April 19, 2017 entry of Opening the Word.

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