Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall;
don’t be happy when they stumble.
For the Lord will be displeased with you
and will turn his anger away from them.
We all have haters. People who have offended us in different ways. When you’ve been hurt or offended, it’s hard to show a level of compassion towards that person. It seems unnatural and in essence, it is. It takes a great level of inner strength, humility, and faith to go against your instinct to be resentful or revengeful. However, sometimes it’s important to step outside of ourselves to see the situation in a different perspective or light to come to a more peaceful conclusion.
1. Confirm They’re Really Hating
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother.
You’ll be surprised how miscommunication can escalate a minor incident. There’ve been countless times where I’ve created unfounded assumptions about why someone reacted to me in a certain why, or why they looked at me that way or why they spoke to me with that tone. After harboring hurt feelings and resentment for months, I’ll eventually confront the person about it only to find that the person’s explanation of their behavior actually sheds a different perspective on what I was initially thinking. I’ve learned to confront the person immediately rather than later to quickly resolve any misunderstandings. Which tends to quickly de-escalate the incident.
2. Remember You’re A Hater Too
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?
Let’s be honest. Everyone has offended someone in their lifetime. EVERYONE. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we all have been labeled “the Hater.” Have you ever complained about someone getting an award, promotion, etc. over you? Have you ever complained about someone getting married or having a baby before you? Have you ever criticized someone’s outfit, hair, height, complexion, etc.? We all have experienced offenses and have been behind them too. Therefore, before you start calling everyone in your contacts to complain about what she did or what she said, reflect on whether you’ve done something similar in the past and relax. Even if you haven’t committed that particular offense, you have committed an offense, so have some compassion on the offender. Because next time you may need compassion for your offense.
3. Seek The Help You Need To Be Compassionate
Seek and keep on seeking and you will find
It’s incredibly difficult to just want to be compassionate towards your haters without divine help. The beauty of Christ is that He doesn’t expect us to try to be great on our own. He fully understands that how He’s called us to live will require His help, but we have to seek it out. Jesus is a Gentleman. He won’t overstep our will. He first gets our permission to come to our aid, before He steps in to help us tap into His strength, His courage, and His compassion. Divine intervention is often required for us to learn how to have compassion for our haters and love them unconditionally. Because it’s not a natural thing. It goes against our very nature of survival to dominate others to be at the top. But true satisfaction in life comes when we’re able to make a positive impact in people’s lives.
4. Pay Compassion Forward
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
We reap what we sow. Whatever you put out is likely what you will receive, eventually. If you want people to be more compassionate to you, then be more compassionate to others. It’s a pretty simple concept that most people don’t seem to truly appreciate. This doesn’t just translate to compassion, but for anything in life. If you want to receive kindness and support then be kind and supportive to others. If you want recognition and honor then recognize and honor others. Simple.
5. Practice Being Compassionate
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin
It’s less challenging to forgive someone and show compassion to them for a major incident if you have a habit of forgiving people and being compassionate for the smaller incidences. If someone cuts you off in traffic, instead of yelling at the top of your lungs in your car where they can’t hear you anyways, take a deep breath and say something positive towards that person. You can say something like “I hope they arrive at their destination safely” or “I pray everything is alright with them.” Because quite frankly you don’t really know why they’re driving that way. You may see it as just reckless driving, but they may be running late to an interview for a job they really need because they’ve been unemployed for a year. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Your assumption may not be the reality. If you spare others, others will spare you. If you learn to show compassion in smaller ways, then when the heavier offenses come you’ll be more prepared to maturely tackle them and move past it.