Do Good For Your Enemies
In Luke 6:27, we are told to love our enemies by doing good to those who hate us. This is something that is far easier to talk about than to actually do. But one Michigan mom, Dianne Hoffmeyer, lived out this verse. She did it to set an example for her children. But she actually set a marvelous example for us all.
Diane was out and about with her precious 22-month old daughter, who was going through a painful bout of teething. Both Diane and her daughter had been up all night, so she decided to grab a coffee, and some donut holes for her daughter, in the hopes the treat might make her feel better, if only temporarily. She dipped into a local bake shop, Tim Horton's, and patiently waited her turn in line.
But while she waited, she couldn't help but overhear the two women behind her who repeatedly made nasty comments about this mom. They remarked about how her hair was "nasty looking" and that the roots were showing. They called her a whale, and as she ordered said, "Oh, the whale needs to eat."
What these women didn't know was that Dianne had been working hard on her weight, recently losing 177 pounds. She had not had time to schedule any hair appointments because she was busy putting her kids first. But none of that really matters anyway — the women's comments were cruel and unwarranted. Dianne says,
"And I instantly started to cry, because it hurts. I don’t know the women. I don’t know why they would choose to say something like that. I was crying because it hurt but I was crying because I was getting mad. You know, because here are these people that don’t even know who I am and don’t know what I’ve had to go through."
As Christians, we talk a lot about turning the other cheek and loving our enemies. But let's be honest. In a moment like that, it's really hard to practice what we preach. Sometimes we react first, before taking the time to think about how Jesus would want us to act. But what Dianne did next is truly inspiring.
Dianne stepped up to the counter and told the cashier she would be paying for her own order, but also for the coffee of her bullies. The cashier, who had also overheard the cruel taunting, was so shocked, she couldn't help but ask Dianne if she was sure she wanted to do so. Dianne confirmed, and then walked out to her car, where she says she cried for 15 minutes.
Since recounting the episode on her Facebook page, Dianne's kind act has become national news. She hopes that the two women will see the story, and says she'd love to have the opportunity to treat them to another cup of coffee so that she could explain to them just how hurtful their comments were.
Kudos to Dianne and her amazing reaction. She could have easily lashed out, but instead chose the high road. She truly showed the heart of Jesus, and I pray that her kind response has an impact on those two women. That it will prompt them to take a good hard look at their own actions, and inspire them to have a true change of heart.
I pray that you and I will also be inspired by Dianne, and will keep this story in mind the next time we face adversity. It's not always easy, but don't let the enemy use anger and hurt to pull you from God's path. After all, we did not deserve the mercy He showed by sending His son. But He forgave us anyways. AMEN!
"Not giving back evil for evil, or curse for curse, but in place of cursing, blessing; because this is the purpose of God for you that you may have a heritage of blessing." 1 Peter 3:9
For another great story about standing up to bullies, click here!
h/t: WRIC News