To Be a Blessing in a Time of Cursing

We are in a time of cursing; cursing permeates the very air we breathe, clouding our hearts and minds with its heaviness. It is not only the horrific acts of violence we are witnessing on both sides. We are also surrounded by words, by rhetoric of hopelessness and death. As a result, we seem to retreat into our corners, ready to curse or defend, taking the path of least resistance and putting our physical allegiances even above our allegiance to God Himself.

But aren’t these the very moments that we are called to step up and be a blessing? Isn’t this our time to shine as a source of hope and peace in the midst of unthinkable hate and injustice?

Every single word that we utter, every action we engage in these days, has the potential to be a blessing or a curse. It is a sobering reality that we can cause greater enmity, more fear and deeper pain just by words, which often affect our actions. On the contrary, we can bring hope and love to people who desperately need it on both sides.

Words have the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21) and can be used to build up (Ephesians 4:29) and heal (Proverbs 12:18) or to destroy. When our words, including in social media and newsletters, come out of a place of fear and defense rather than love, then we cease to be blessing to both sides in this conflict and to our brothers and sisters in the Messiah. There is no fear in love but love actually drives fear away (1 John 4:18). So, if our words are coming from a place of fear, they cannot also be coming from an attitude of love.

There is legitimate injustice and actions that should be condemned on both sides. However, if in the attempts to point out injustice or to address offenses, our words offer no hope, no ultimate peace, they can only be described as destructive and, ultimately, as feeding an atmosphere of cursing.

Some of Yeshua’s (Jesus) last words included the charge to be known by our love (John 13:35) not by our allegiances, as right as they may feel. Why would we want re-erect the wall of enmity that was torn down through His sacrifice (Ephesians 2:14-15) by carelessly reflecting the enmity of the world through our words? Do we truly believe in being a blessing to both our enemy and brother alike, blessing even those who curse us (Matthew 5:44) and never gloating over our enemy’s suffering (Proverbs 24:17)?

If so, then let’s be purposeful in our attempts to be a blessing, especially to “the other” and forget about our reputations or our fears. What might happen if we visited hospital patients injured in the course of violence, regardless of whether we see them as guilty of violence themselves, reaching out our hands in blessing? Or what if we simply sent messages to those we know (or don’t know) on the “other side,” committing to lift them up in prayer or to see how they are doing? Even the simple act of listening to someone’s suffering can be an immense blessing. Can we seek out ways to do this rather than offering words of fear or accusation?

This is our testing ground, not when it’s easy. Right now, when emotions are highest and we are tempted to accuse, we must offer blessing-blessing that is delivered through words of hope, understanding and love, words that can transform hearts and morph into actions.