I received an e-mail today—one of the sort that’s full of pithy wisdom, engaging pictures and the direction to “Send this to all your friends including me and see how many you get back.” I usually look at them, though I rarely pass them on, because they help to lighten the day.
This particular one is good:
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
The best vitamin for making friends..... B1.
The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.
All wise statements—and so are the rest until I read this one:
“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't.”
Oh? Really? That’s not what Jesus said. He said to love our enemies, be kind to those who mistreat us, do good to those who hate us.
Feel-good theology/psychology is very attractive. We all want to feel good, to embrace what makes us happy and eschew what makes us hurt but what would our lives look like if we did that? We wouldn’t have any struggles. We’d have nothing in our lives to spur us on to personal strength or character development. We’d also have little relational stability in our lives because we would walk away from all we thought weren’t treating us right—and they from us. Don’t we all fail at relating well some times?
Loving my enemy isn’t easy. I find it hard to be kind to those who mistreat me. At times doing both seems downright foolish. There is a way that seems right to a man, but that way is destruction. More and more, I keep finding out just how upside-down God’s kingdom really is. He tells us things that seem contrary to what feels natural and right—the first will be last and the last will be first; love your enemies; in your weakness is strength and so on—but he knows so much better than I what brings life and what brings death. I ignore his ways to my peril.