I heard about a little girl who was making ugly faces at her pet bulldog. When her mother scolded her for it, the little girl pointed her finger accusingly at her unlovely pet and said, “Well he started it!”
I fear that some Christians are just like the little girl when it comes to making excuses for ugly behavior. Someone says something ugly to us, or gives us a dirty look, so we feel justified in being ugly in return.
The truth is that no matter what someone else has done to us or said to us, the Christian is to behave like Christ. He left us an example; we should follow in His steps. He was “reviled” but “did not revile in return” (1 Peter 2:23). To “revile” is “to use abusive language.” Even when we are being “cussed out,” we have no justification for becoming nasty ourselves. Rather, “…being reviled, we …bless” (1 Corinthians 4:12). It is the responsibility of the Christian, in every situation, to “be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:8b-9).
Like the bulldog, some of us may not be able to keep from being ugly in physical appearance, but there is NO excuse for being ugly when it comes to our behavior.
— Steve Klein