Then & Now - Week of March 17

The Person You Hate
2 Kings 5:2-19

She was a Jewish refugee, rudely stolen from her home and forced into slavery by the Assyrian army.

She as separated from her family and living in a foreign country with a foreign language and a foreign culture.

She was lonely, isolated, and probably a little angry.

But the servant girl mentioned in 2 Kings—whose name we don’t even know—demonstrated extraordinary forgiveness toward the very people who had made her life miserable.

She served Naaman, the most powerful general in the country. Naaman was a great man, but he had a serious problem. He was a leper. He desperately tried every cure and medicine known to man. But nothing brought him relief.

But this servant girl—probably in her early teens—was a believer. She knew that God could work miracles. So she stepped up and courageously suggested that Naaman visit the prophet and do what he says.

Her actions brought relief to the very person who had uprooted her from her country. Instead of bitterness, this young teen chose forgiveness and love.

I don’t have to tell you that forgiveness is hard. It’s real hard, especially toward those who have wronged you. I know that there are young people reading this who have been abused.

A parent that left them.

A family member that abused them.

A teacher who has made their lives miserable.

Why forgive? Why not continue in bitterness?

Because forgiveness helps you. It lifts the weight off of your shoulders and places it squarely on God’s. It is only thru His powerful, transforming, life changing love that you can begin to find healing and hope.

How did this young girl forgive her captor? She began to see His real need. He needed to hear of Jehovah. And so does that person who wronged you. Maybe it is your hurt and your pain that will lead them to Christ.

This doesn’t mean the hurt goes away overnight. It doesn’t mean that you won’t struggle with hard feelings about them. It doesn’t mean you will suddenly want them to be your best friend!

No forgiveness is simply taking your pain and your burden and giving it to the Lord. 

Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at, or check out his website:

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