"Isn't it funny the way some combinations of words can give you-almost apart from their meaning-a thrill like music?" C.S. Lewis
Do We Need To Be Cruel To Be Kind, Mr. Lowe?
"The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief." ~William Shakespeare,Othello
In the song, Cruel To Be Kind, Nick Lowe, (and band) is at his wits' end with his friends and the people around him....he's sick of them being mean and stomping on his heart. So he answers with, in the right measure, we should be cruel to them, to show we love them. Should we treat them with the same respect so that they know how it feels and thus, learn a valuable life lesson? Or do people respond better to kindness in turn? William Shakespeare, in Othella, as quoted above, said that when we smile at the thief, we steal from them. I think that his meaning is this (and I am pretty sure, for most, this is obvious) : that giving to someone kindness when they take away (anything, fill in the blank), robs them of the satisfaction they may have been hoping for [in our possibly negative response Mr. Lowe would have perhaps given].
But what if our kindness back isn't for our satisfaction, but theirs? How do you think that would work?
Well, consider this:"Jesus said, 'Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you'” (Matt. 5:44).
If we took the time to consider what that other person may be going through, given perhaps their reasons for being short, mean, cruel, etc. to you, might we show grace? And if we pray for them that God lead them out of their despair, would that not serve them well?
I really struggle with this. I don't always respond back happily to those who make it a bad day, week, month,....for me. In fact, I have a temper, and I react in full-fledged victim-mode a lot. But in my heart, I know how I need to act. I realize my attitude towards people does not show His Love, which I profess. And that does a disgrace. It is also very dangerous to the souls lost. It does not serve people to be cruel back; they do not learn the lesson Mr. Lowe was thinking of; rather, if anything, it gives them ample reason to continue on their 'merry' way and be destructive in others' lives.
I am dealing with this, in fact, right now. No specifics. But I am having a difficult time getting over those minute details handed to me by someone in my life right now. I am allowing everything this person does or says to give me reason to walk away and never give them the satisfaction of "being in my life anymore." As if that's something they'd miss. It may or not be. But I know that allowing myself to think the way I have will only harden hearts. And that's the last thing I'd want. It comes too easily. Forgiving is hard, but it's right.
'Love Thy Enemy As Thyself.' I am sure I can be the enemy in this situation, in this person's life. Dang, that'd stink.