Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A target on our back.

Sometimes in life, we are wronged.
Sometimes it is accidental, sometimes deliberate but not premeditated, and sometimes we are the target of a premeditated plan to harms us.
Maybe we have done something to upset another, or hurt their feelings, or maybe they just perceive this to be so. Maybe they are jealous over something.
Maybe we just remind them of their evil uncle.
Whatever the reason, we have all found ourselves at times feeling like we had a target on our back.

What do we do?

Certainly we have a right to defend ourselves, and a right for it to end.
I have even heard some say we have a duty to do so.  They say that if it is happening to us, it is probably happening to others.
I think we also have a duty to examine our own actions and see if they might have led to this targeting towards us.

Not withstanding our rights, and even if our actions have not contributed, we have another obligation.
I have another obligation.

As he was being stoned to death, St Stephen asked forgiveness for his murderers.
In doing so, he was following his faith, guided in this case by the sermon on the mount,

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers,what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

I am no Stephen, nor will I ever be, but I am called to follow the same faith and teachings that he was, as best I can.

I believe my duty lies in defending myself and others, while forgiving my attackers.
No one said it was going to be easy.

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