Paul tells us how love acts and reacts. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
Often, when we are mistreated, we act without love. We react with hatred and vengeance toward those who have wronged us. Smoldering resentment and searing animosity burn bitterness into our hearts and souls. Many a good man has been destroyed in this way. Pure and beloved though he may be, one is brought to ruin when he allows the slights and wounds of others to provoke him. The story below, from an unknown author, is apropos.
“A story tells of two friends walking through the desert. During the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: Today My Best Friend Slapped Me In The Face.
“They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: Today My Best Friend Saved My Life. The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, ’After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and, now, you write on a stone, why?’
“The other friend replied, ’When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.’ Write Your Hurts In The Sand And Carve Your Benefits In Stone.”