I have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to meanness. I used to have a problem with meanness until the Lord set me straight. Now, when once in a rare while I fall into meanness, God leads me swiftly to repentance. Most of the time now, I am not the one being mean. I’m on the receiving end of meanness. Which, quite frankly, I have been on and off of for years. Only difference now is I respond much differently to meanness. Instead of jumping onto the battlefield with a hurt, angry, prideful, and judgmental heart, and lashing out with my big fat mouth, and taking vengeful actions, I do my best to stay off the battlefield altogether. And, instead, to humble myself, to repent of any sin in my heart, mouth, and actions, to love, to be merciful, to be compassionate, to be kind, to forgive, and to pray for the people being mean. Not in and of myself am I able to do this, mind you, but in the love, mercy, grace, and strength of the Spirit of Christ who lives in His followers. And rest assured, I still have plenty of growing to do in all this!
This is the way of the Lord Jesus Christ, friend, and this is the way we are called to live. Loving God with all our hearts, loving one another, and responding to meanness with Jesus’ love. I have had a lot of growing and changing to do, and God in His love and mercy has been transforming me day by day for quite some time now. And in His patience with me, when I fall backward, He chastens me and leads me back onto the pathway of righteousness He has set before me.
It’s hard and it hurts and it’s challenging to deal with other people’s meanness, but God gives us everything we need to combat meanness with His glorious love working in and through us!
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” 2 Peter 1:3 KJV
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.” Proverbs 15:1-4 KJV
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 KJV
I still have a lot of growing and changing to do, and I fully trust the Lord will continue to transform me so long as I humble myself and offer myself wholly to Him. Please, friend, will you do the same? Be humbly and wholly His! And, when you face meanness, let the one being mean see the light and love and mercy of Christ in you!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 KJV
God’s will when people are mean to us is not to fight back with meanness. Please consider this:
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:30-32 KJV
As God’s followers, let’s do the right thing. Let us love! With His most marvelous LOVE!
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Ephesians 5:1-2 KJV
Oh, God, when people are mean to us in this world, help us, enable us, equip us by your Holy Spirit and your Word, cause us, lead us, empower us to do what is right in your eyes! Help us not to respond to their sin with our own sin. Help us repent of our sin, help us keep our hearts, mouths, and actions pure and godly for you, and help us, dear Father, to respond to them WITH YOUR LOVE, oh Lord, hallelujah, oh yes! AMEN!
*** PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE TIMES THE LORD MAY LEAD US TO WALK AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE MEAN TO US. HE MAY NOT WANT US TO BE IN THEIR LIVES FOR A SEASON OR EVEN PERMANENTLY. CONVERSELY, HE MAY WANT US TO REMAIN IN THEIR LIVES TO PRAY FOR THEM AND TO MODEL TO THEM GODLINESS, LOVE, MERCY, GRACE, ETC. EITHER WAY, WE ARE TO CHOOSE GOD’S LOVE AND MERCY RATHER THAN SIN IN RESPONSE TO PEOPLE’S MEANNESS AND WE ARE TO SEEK AND FOLLOW THE LORD’S WILL CONCERNING WHETHER HE LEADS US TO STAY OR TO GO! BUT WHATEVER WE DO IN OBEDIENCE TO HIM, MAY WE DO IT WITH LOVE! ***
“Let all your things be done with charity [LOVE in some Bible versions].” 1 Corinthians 16:14 KJV