“Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.” Mt. 5:7
What if the next time you came across a mean nasty person the Lord gave you the vision to see past the meanness and the nastiness and to see the heart inside the person? What if you saw brokenness? What if you saw hurt? And sadness? Deep grief? Loneliness? Great rejection? A background of abuse, of abandonment, of really gruelingly hard stuff? What if you saw the depths of pain in that person? What if you saw the terribly hard news the person just received? What if you saw the tears shed at the funeral last week? What if you saw all the losses? What if you saw how the person felt when the doctor came into the room saying the diagnosis was worse than imaginable?
What if you saw all the worry the person has day in and day out about how to stretch the little food left in the cupboards when the children are crying and crying to be fed? What if you realized the meanness and nastiness were nothing more than a big thick seemingly impenetrable wall the person was using in a desperate attempt to hide the hurt and to protect himself or herself from more pain? Or what if He gave you the vision to see the mean nasty person didn’t have any sad, hard, difficult story at all, but that the mean nasty person was simply a fellow human who like all of us is a sinner against God in need of repentance and faith in and salvation from God through Christ?
I was that mean nasty person once. Partly because of all the hurt inside from a hard story. Partly and most importantly because I’m your fellow human who needed to believe in and commit my life to the Lord. Now some of my most powerful touching ministry opportunities are when the Lord leads me to mean nasty people. By His grace alone, I am learning to humble myself and seek the Lord and open my heart and consider the possibilities and follow the Spirit of God as He shows me how to minister to someone whom seemingly anyone in his or her right mind might want to run hurriedly away from.
The world’s ways are all about flesh, lust, self, pleasure, self-satisfaction, self-gratification, personal comfort, happiness, success, etc., right? Jesus’ followers aren’t to live for self, but for Christ and for others. The Lord Jesus Christ was and is the perfect role model when it comes to sinners – including the mean nasty ones. Following Jesus is about love, humility, mercy, grace, service, patience, giving, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, praying for, encouraging, confronting in love, helping, supporting, sharing, fellowship, unity, peace, and joy. And, above all else, living to love and glorify God and following the lead of the Spirit of God day in and day out.
Sometimes the Lord will lead us to walk away from mean nasty people and to do nothing more than to lovingly forgive them. But we shouldn’t be surprised, nor should we lose our opportunity, when the Lord leads us to minister to mean nasty people – by His grace, in His love, with His mercy, for God almighty’s glory!