Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Week Forty-Five - Cursing

Beside the Well
            Bad words brought the wrath of my parents. We were not allowed to curse in any form.  Even an exclamation like “O, my God” or  “Gosh,” was frowned upon.  I call these Christian swearing.
            Romans 12:14 explicitly says,  “curse not.”  Ecclesiastes 10:20 warns us that when we curse those in authority, we run the risk of them hearing because “a bird of the air shall carry the voice.” And James 3:10 warns us,  “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
            But cursing in the Bible isn’t limited to the language.  It is intertwined with the attitude. 1 Peter 3:9 speaks of “not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing.”  It has to do with the desire to seek revenge.  We are not to be cursing anyone, anything, in any style.
            Hopefully, we do not go about openly cursing at people.  That is just rude.  But, there is a secret cursing of which we may be guilty.  The spirit of cursing may reign in our hearts and be expressed in spitefulness, faint praise, half-hearted commendations, insinuations, efforts to undermine, backbiting, and evil speaking.  These are the mannerisms of the coward, and by doing such, we are breaking God’s law on cursing.
            Contrariwise, we are to be blessing those around us.  Such is the characteristic of God.  Rev. Samuel Martin put forth a thought that gripped my heart when he wrote, “Imagine for a moment, God, the one living and true God—imagine Jehovah to be evil, and to be malevolent; just take away the glorious attribute of goodness.  Suppose Him to be unrighteous, untruthful, unfaithful, unkind, unmerciful.  Oh! What a terror must God be to us!  What an object of dread must every attribute be! Imagine malevolence connected with an omnipotent arm, and with an omniscient eye!”
            I could hardly bear the thought of God without the attribute of kindness and mercy.  Can you? Praise the Lord; he is a God of blessing.  And, he calls his children to be so as well.  Look again at Romans 12:14, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
            God the Father, does not bless as we bless—insufficiently, half-heartedly—but he blesses with all that is in Him.  So much so, that he gave his only Son.  He is a God of blessing, setting the example of mercy and forgiveness for us all. We might find it hard to bless those who are evil toward us, but Jesus’ example should suffice.  “He is kind to the unthankful and to the evil”  (Luke 6:35).
            Rev. Martin went on to say, “He is blessed, and His idea of blessedness must of course first be taken from Himself, and then it must be the idea of bringing the creature as near as possible to the possession of blessedness which characterizes the happy God.”  Oh, I love that!  The Happy God!  Blessed means happy!  How wonderful is that?
            But it requires a great measure of courage and character to bless a man who curses and persecutes you.  It would be easier to knock him down and trample on him, but the depth of God’s love means we must bless instead of curse.  And we must be sincere.  We are not to make a show of our kindness or a fuss.  To do that is to reveal we are self-serving and hypocritical.
            Please allow me to put in another quote from Rev. Martin as I cannot say it as he does.  “How quietly our heavenly Father blesses us!  How quietly the Saviour gave Himself up for us!  Men sometimes wonder that He said so little about dying for us, but this is all explained by the depth of His love.  His love was such that He could not speak much of it, or often.  If it had been some little rivulet, it would have made a great noise, and would have babbled, and bubbled, at every step; but because it was a lake unfathomably deep—so deep that no creature can ever fathom it—we see it sleeping quietly and but seldom lifting up its voice; just as you who have journeyed in the mountainous parts of your own country have seen the waters sleeping between the great and glorious mountains.  Bless each other; but do it sincerely and quietly.  Bless each other in the name of the Lord.  I say, do it in the name of the Lord.”
            Blessing brings us happiness.  Obedience brings us joy.  Oh, may our hearts and mouths be filled with blessing!  To do so, we must cherish the spirit of blessing and increase it by communion with the God of love, walking closely with our Saviour, and by the sweet, healing fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”  Matthew 5:44, 45

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