“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”
Romans 12:17, KJV
That last rock hit hard.
I had not known it was coming. My beat up shield had become heavy and my battered defense was down.
But to be honest, the rocks that hit hardest are those thrown from directions you had been led to believe were safe, rocks from the hands of a person who, at least most of the time, had appeared to be on your side.
Who most of the time, genuinely is on your side.
And it was just about enough. I could feel that hurt begging to be released through a missile of angry retorts.
In my visually inclined mind, that rock had hit the red “DO NOT PRESS” button and in my head I could not be held accountable for the amount of verbal “mass destruction” it was about to unleash-
… And then that still small voice…
I had the rock in my hand, the others poised as an arsenal stacked beside me and I was ready to retaliate-
But that still small voice…
You know the feeling.
I wasn’t dropping that rock so easily.
At least not before thinking it through.
The problem with thinking things through- its usually the moment of hesitation needed to cut the fuse- it may still be burning, but chances are its not headed for the canister of dynamite anymore.
In a matter of seconds several things ran through my head;
- One I really wanted to throw that rock.
- Two I really didn’t want to throw that rock.
- Three at this time that person was the worst in the whole world and deserved to be hit with this rock… (also they had hit me first… with this rock).
- Four… I still really loved that person
- Five… hurt(ing) people hurt people
And then as a bonus thought
*Bonus If Jesus is the Lord of your life and he said to drop the rock… you should probably drop the rock.
And so I dropped it.
Then mentally just kind of sat down among the pile of all the rocks for a little bit, deciding what to do with them. (Possibly looking back at Jesus like and now…)
Then the question occurred to me, “Why did they throw this rock?”
What was their purpose in their words?
… The motivation behind their words?
And how much of that really had anything to do with me?
I realized there’s power in not throwing the rocks back.
You can weigh them and probe them and try and get to the heart of them.
Some may even hold crystals.
These rocks are rare, they have been tossed back and forth for long periods of time, sometimes lifetimes- experiencing extreme pressure. Just waiting for somebody to be willing to take the time to crack it open.
It’s hard work (my nephew can tell you) – and once its open there’ll be a bit of a cleaning process-
However the end result is priceless.
And how humbling, to have the opportunity to participate in such a process- knowing that it is undeserved and deep down recognizing that no matter how hard that rock hit- you never had any right to cast one yourself.
Not that any of those things makes it any easier when faced with the initial assault.
However, those things do place a few seeds of hope in your hand that may help prevent you from picking that rock up and tossing it back.
With all this said- I am going to leave you with three more things:
- First this quote I found scribbled in the margins of my Bible, that I found really helpful for such a time as this; “We sin more than we will acknowledge and are loved more than we will ever understand.”
2. The final verse of Romans 12, 12:21 “Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (aka You’re an overcomer, you have the power to drop it and ruin the enemy’s day- #win)
3. This picture of my Nephew with his secret crystal filled treasure- Because why not