If You Can't Say Something Nice...
Many of us have probably heard the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” It sounds like good advice but Jesus took a slightly different approach.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44 (KJV)
Not only did Jesus instruct us to not say something bad about someone, but if someone does us wrong we are to turn around and love them, bless them, do good to them, and pray for them. Wow, that seems like a tall order! In our flesh, we want to turn around and give back to our enemies exactly what they gave us- and then some. But Jesus understood some truths that we might be tempted to overlook or ignore.
Words carry power. In the same way that our heavenly Father is able to create with His words, so can we. If we speak destruction and curses over someone, we are releasing the devil to continue to work in their lives. We are reinforcing the enemy’s hold over them when we speak bad things about them or to them.
We reap what we sow. If we reap curses, hatred, and negativity over them, we will receive the same. Not only that, but when we sow something the harvest is always bigger than what we planted. Therefore, if we sow seeds of hatred and cursing, we will receive it multiplied many times over.
The enemy seeks to destroy through division and strife. If we continue the cycle of hatred by speaking badly of them and having hatred for them in our hearts, we are playing right into the devil’s hands.
Most nasty people are wounded people. Of course, this does not apply to every person, but most people who are rude or selfish or just plain mean have some sort of hurt, disappointment, or abuse that they are suffering from. Many will push it down and try to ignore it, but it will manifest in how they treat other people. When we realize that the old saying is true that hurt people hurt people, it is easier for us to develop a love for them and a concern for their souls.
The ultimate goal is to see people enter the kingdom of God- not to get even with them. Even the meanest, hardest person has a soul and we need to do everything possible to help them see and experience the goodness of God so they will be saved. We do not need to be a hindrance to them being born again.
If we keep these things in mind and seek to allow the love of God to flow through us, we can love the unloveable. If we are honest, we would admit we have all been that unloveable person at some point in time. I don’t know about you, but I am very glad someone saw past my hard exterior and did what Jesus said to do. I probably wouldn’t be in the kingdom of God if it weren’t for someone who decided to love me and pray for me in spite of myself. We need to do the same for others.