“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 65:25)
“Hurt people hurt” is a true enough adage. Overcoming evil is not something human beings are very good at. Supposedly good people can become quite evil when they are wronged. The instinct for revenge runs deep in a wounded spirit. If small offenses can create anger, hatred, and bitterness, what will great offenses cause?
A wounded spirit is harder to heal than a wounded body. Pain screams out and wants relief. Getting back at another seems like a good remedy. Doing to another what they’ve done to us feels like sweet relief. But is it? Whatever moves us further away from the heart of God is never in our best interests. Who are we really damaging when we choose to hurt another? Each time we fail of the grace of God, and let a root of bitterness bear bitter fruit, we “trouble” our own self. (Heb. 12:15)
When we have been poisoned deep within, we are in need of God’s anti-venom. The Spirit of Christ is the Balm of Gilead which heals the most gravely wounded spirit. To walk in the Spirit of Christ is to not be overcome by evil. Christ did not repay evil with evil. To know the love of Christ is to know a love that covers a multitude of sins. The focus now is not on how wrong another has behaved toward us, but how right we can behave toward them. Yes, we have been hurt; but we choose not to hurt in return. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour …” (Rom. 13:10)
We can look in the mirror and not like what we see. We can blame others for turning us ugly. But if we are followers of the One who overcame the world, we can be of good cheer. A dark world that treated Him horribly did not overtake Him, turning His light into darkness; His glory into shame. If we will take our eyes off our pain, and stop focusing on the ugliness of others, and instead behold the beauty of the Lord, He can keep us from becoming like those we would hate, and His beauty can be ours.