They hurt themselves that wrong others. Anonymous
He who wrongs one threatens many. Publilius Syrus
Submission to one wrong brings on another. Latin Proverb
Each of us has suffered through wrongs that have been done to us. Each of us has committed our share of wrongs as well. We usually do better at remembering the wrongs that been done to us than the wrongs we have done to others. How should we respond to the bad things others do to us?
We cannot prevent bad things from happening. Common sense would indicate that the most intelligent thing we can do is to try to minimize the harm and damage. Generally, the faster and easier we recover from what has happened the better off we are. This may involve doing absolutely nothing. Often, we should forgive and forget, and go on. The ideal however, involves responding in such a manner that the person committing the wrong becomes penitent and changes for the better. Then both the offender and the victim can grow to a higher level.
Sometimes we respond to a wrong by committing a wrong; “an eye for an eye”. “Two wrongs do not make a right” is profoundly true. When we respond to wrong with wrong, we likely hurt ourselves more than the harm we suffered from our offender. Someone verbally assaults us, we respond with verbal assaults of more magnitude than theirs. It is perverse to thanks that we really did them any harm; what we really did was to drag ourselves down to a very low level. We should make conscious and careful decisions as to what we should do. If we do what is morally right and good, we will avoid responding to wrongs with another wrong. Even though the person committing the wrong has not done what was morally right and good, they have to live with the consequences. We may have been wronged, but as of yet, we have not retaliated with a wrong. In the ideal, we will respond to a wrong with a right. We should be driven and motivated by the Golden Rule. We treat others as we want to be treated. If at all possible, this would mandate responding to wrong with good; with kindness. This is a tall and tough task to live up to and easier said than done. However, it should be our goal. At the very least, we should avoid responding in a wrongful manner. Do not respond wrong for wrong, let it go, grow through it.
Challenge:Minimize the wrongful damage to you by avoiding wrongful actions on your part. Also, minimize creating any emotional baggage. Forgive and forget! You will be better for it. If your goal is to truly stretch for personal growth and development, respond by applying the Golden Rule. Next time someone wrongs you, delay your response, don’t respond automatically. Instead, try to consciously respond to their wrong with your good.
Wisdom: It is wrong to think that misfortunes come from the east or from the west; they originate within one’s own mind. Therefore, it is foolish to guard against misfortunes from the external world and leave the inner mind uncontrolled. Buddha
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patent man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
Those who commit wrongs are not being guided by a spirit of love. When we are being guided by God’s Holy Spirit we are guided, motivated and encouraged by a spirit of love. When we are “right” with God, we allow God’s love to flow through us. We are able to forgive and to forget. We are able to answers wrongs with rights. It is not in our nature to be able to do this on our own. We are incomplete and lacking if God’s spirit is not in us.
Prayer: Help me to beguided by your spirit of love. Help me not to respond to wrongs with more wrongs.