When someone injures us in whatever way, whether with slanders or with insults, we should think of him as our brother who has been taken hold of by the enemy. He has fallen victim to the enemy. Accordingly we need to have compassion for him and entreat God to have mercy on both on us and on him, and God will help both. If, however, we are filled with anger against him, then the enemy will jump from him to us and make a mockery of us both. A person who condemns others does not love Christ. Our egotism is at fault. This is where condemnation of others stems from. Let me give you a little example.
Let's suppose someone is all alone in the desert. Suddenly he hears a voice crying out in distress in the distance. He follows the sound and is confronted by a horrendous sight: a tiger has grabbed hold of a man and is savaging him with its claws. The man is desperately shouting for help. In a few minutes he will be torn to pieces. What can the person do to help? Can he run to his side? How? It's impossible. Can he shout for help? Who will hear him? There is no one within earshot. Should he perhaps pick up a stone and throw it at the man to finish him off? 'Certainly not!' we would say. But that's exactly what can happen if we don't realize that the other person who is acting badly towards us has been taken hold of by a tiger, the devil. We fail to realize that when we react to such a person without love it is as if we are throwing stones at his wounds and accordingly we are doing him great harm and the 'tiger' leaps onto us and we do the same as him and worse. What kind of love do we have then for our neighbour and, even more importantly, for God?
This quote is from the beautiful book, Wounded by Love: The Life and Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios. This book tells the story of his life and, in simple, deeply reflected and profoundly wise words, he expounds the Christian faith for today. It can be purchased at Uncut Mountain Supply.
The title of this post is Romans 13:8. If you continue to verse 10, it continues on to say, "Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Also a lovely thing to ponder!