A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

Home » Born-again Christian » THE HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD TO DO

THE HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD TO DO

the hardest thing

When we were little kids, we learned simple songs. The songs had at most a dozen notes in an easy-to-reach range, a simple and catchy tune, and lyrics that didn’t always make sense but were easy to remember. Think “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. We sang these songs at daycare or at school or with our mother at home. Sometimes we’d sing them quietly to ourselves if we were sad or scared, as a way to recall happier times and comfort ourselves. They were as much a part of our lives as play time, snack time, and bedtime. They became part of us and still are part of us today.

I mention these childhood songs because, as born-again believers, we need to learn a new song. We’re old enough now to choose the notes ourselves, but the lyrics should go like this:

“The hardest thing

in the world to do

is to be nice to people

who aren’t nice to you.”

You could make these words the whole song or just the chorus, but they need to be set to music – a simple and catchy tune, just like our childhood songs. And like our childhood songs, this song needs to become part of you, even if it doesn’t always make sense.

Jesus summed up the Law and the prophets in one simple phrase: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He later simplified it even further as: “Love your enemies.” And then he showed us what doing unto others as we would have them do unto us and loving our enemies looks like by praying for his tormentors and murderers while he was dying in agony on the cross.

Being nice to people who aren’t nice to you IS the hardest thing in the world to do. It’s also the most important thing in the world to do, otherwise Jesus wouldn’t have stressed it or considered it the summation of all scriptures or, as it were, an 11th Commandment. It doesn’t matter how strong you believe your faith to be or how close you think you are to God; it doesn’t matter if you give all your belongings to the poor and all your wealth to charity; it doesn’t matter if you go to church five times a week and do volunteer work every day – if you aren’t nice to people who aren’t nice to you, you aren’t doing unto others as you would have them do unto you and you aren’t loving your enemies. And if you ain’t lovin’ your enemies, you ain’t gittin’ into Heaven. That is a 100% guarantee, fully backed by scripture.

Paul called being nice to people who aren’t nice to you “caritas”, a very special God-engendered and God-enabled kind of love that gives love without expecting it in return. Caritas initially is more a discipline and a decision of the will than a feeling, but it can become a feeling with God’s help. In fact, genuine caritas is not possible without God’s help. You cannot do unto others as you would have them do unto you or love your enemies or be nice to people who aren’t nice to you without God’s help. Just try it on your own steam and see how spectacularly you fail. On your own steam, being nice to people who aren’t nice to you is harder than climbing Mount Everest, harder than training for the Olympics, harder than not cheating on your diet, harder even than doing a double-major in brain surgery and rocket science. Clichés aside, being nice to people who aren’t nice to you is not only the hardest thing in the world to do but ultimately the one thing that will make or break whether or not you get to Heaven. So, as hard as it is, you need to learn how to do it until it becomes second nature. And the best way to learn is put your learning to the test.

Every rude and condescending person that God puts into our path is a test. In some cases, we’ve brought this test on ourselves as a consequence of our wrong words and actions, and in other cases God is testing us to see if we really mean what we say (i.e., do what we preach, walk the talk) or if we’re just hypocrites. And I will tell you from deep, extensive, prolonged, repeated, and very, very painful personal experience that being nice to people who aren’t nice to you is the absolutely hardest test you will ever undergo. Daniel in the lion’s den had a cake walk compared to returning curses with blessings.

But the good news is that, just like the simple little childhood ditties became part of you after you learned them, being nice to people who aren’t nice to you will also become part of you IF YOU ASK GOD FOR HELP. Asking God for help is absolutely crucial.

The hardest thing

in the world to do

is to be nice to people

who aren’t nice to you.

Now go out there and do unto others as you would have them do unto you, love your enemies, and be nice to people who aren’t nice to you.

In other words – be like Jesus.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: