"Recompense no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men."
This seems difficult to me. When someone is treating you in a non-ideal way, it is hard not to return the favor. ... but I guess that is the thing. If we don’t try, then where does the cycle end? If we return evil for evil, then evil never stops. We have to be the barrier to evil, by taking it and letting it die right there. And I think that we would all like to be people who can choose to be kind and solve problems in a good way, no matter what external challenges we face. Christ always seemed to be able to do that. People would try to manipulate him into anger or saying something wrong, and no matter how they twisted things, he always knew the right thing to say, that would be not only be good, but that would help to teach the people around him as well. Perhaps it is the straight and narrow path ... in speech as with everything else. There is always something good to say, if we can only find it. :) There is always a way to respond to evil with good... somehow. God wouldn't give us this advice otherwise. :) The task is to find that one path amongst the other tempting paths of emotional, mental, or physical “revenge,” and to be able to be calm enough to control ourselves when we are tempted to respond in an evil way. The other part of the verse says to provide things honest in the sight of all men. To me that seems to take the principle a little further… offering not only a kind answer, but a kind self… a life that is free from secret resentments and bias… to not only act nice, but be nice, down deep, so you don't have to hide anything from anyone. Even if the media tried to dig up something on you, they wouldn't be able to find it. :) Wouldn't that feel good? To feel so clean and have such a clear conscience that no one anywhere could give you a guilt trip about anything? A difficult task, but a worthy goal. :) Though we might not be able to get there immediately, the more honestly we live, and the more we return kindness to everyone, no matter what they present us with, the closer we will be to that ideal… and to God. Today, despite the challenge, let’s work on taking whatever we are given and returning kindness, understanding, and love for all of it.