Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Romans 12:14
These words point to an implicit temptation that all of us will face. When someone brings pain into your life, your natural instinct will not be a generous one.
When someone is cruel to you, constantly drawing attention to your failings or weaknesses, always assuming the worst about you, with hurtful words and actions, it’s hard to seek their good. It’s natural to focus on the injustice, how inexcusable it is. When this happens, our hearts become hard. But God says, “Bless those who persecute you.” Seek their good.
In this case, a generous person is one who gives his or her blessing. God says, “Give it where it is not deserved. Give it where it may never be returned.” And do this because this is how God has dealt with you in Jesus Christ.
How are we to do this? Peter says, “If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Pet. 2:20-21). Undeserved generosity is possible for you as you reflect on the example of Jesus.
When the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, He did not curse them. When Jesus was reviled, He did not revile in return (1 Pet. 2:23). Jesus did not repay evil with evil. He did not trade insult for insult. He sought the good of those who brought Him pain. He prayed for them to be blessed: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Who could you give your (undeserved) blessing to today?