"But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law." James 2:9
Sometimes, people can be so mean. They say awful things about you to others, to your face, and just make life difficult. It can wear you out. It can wear you down until all you want to do is just yell right back at them with some smart comment that will put them in their place. But, yelling at mean, or meeting them at their level, will not make you feel any better. God tells us that being kind only to certain people is sin. We need to have consistent kindness. How you are treated is irrelevant.
Trust me, this is easier said than done! Maybe when a non-Christian says something rude or mean, it's easier to remind ourselves to be a good witness. This topic could be an entirely different blog. But, it's a little more difficult when it's a Christian brother or sister. When someone who is supposed to be supporting you and uplifting you, announces to everyone around that you are doing a terrible job, or passive-aggressively tells others things that undermine all of your efforts, the last thing you want to do is be kind. But, you must. You must be kind. You must forgive over and over and over.
During some conversations, being kind takes all of your willpower and energy. It takes every ounce of you to be strong and not retaliate. However, other times, you might be in such shock that you stand there with a nervous smile plastered on your face while someone spits insults at you. This is usually me. Still other times, you might get a tiny bit of strength and clarity of thought, and you could ask that person to pray for you. This is usually a good way to transition out of the conversation and find safety. Whatever your response, you must be kind.
Why do I emphasize consisted kindness? Yes, God commands it of us, but also, you never know what will happen. That person who gossiped about you or yelled at you, might come up to you one day with a smile on their face and encouragement on their tongue. You will be pleasantly surprised, and you will be extremely glad you never were unkind. They may never apologize or even realize how awful they treated you, but you kept yourself accountable. You were kind. You were strong. You were obedient.
Do you have some people in your life that are just completely mean to you whenever they see you? Do you know of someone who regularly gossips about you? Pray for them right now. Ask God to help you forgive and be strong. Pray for your next encounter with them. Pray that no matter what they say, no matter how bad it hurts, you will be kind. I'm praying for you!