I love the poetry of these verses.
J. Lee Grady shares how he honestly never thought he’d see the day when Christians would justify swearing.
I have advocated for and will always espouse purity of tongue in the Church, and a curse is not just a few naughty words. When we tear down our friends and our enemies with derisive and cruel words, those are curses as well. In an older time, we would have said that speaking such harsh words toward another would be “heaping curses on” or just “cursing” them.
What we say matters. Because God first loved us, we can and must love others, and we have to show this in every aspect of our lives. Often times our words are the first impressions that others get of us. Let us be representative of the King in our thoughts, actions, and words.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Growing up in protestant churches, mainly non-denominational, this is something that i’ve noticed from a very young age, and it’s a problem. One of the biggest parts of worship is praises and singing, and so many churches just can’t figure out how to get their congregations to sing.
This is called “the Jesus Prayer.” It is a very important prayer in the Eastern Orthodox traditions. It is often repeated continually, and/or otherwise said throughout the day. This helps the believer center him or herself on Jesus, and like Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” It dates back at least 1500 years, that is, to the 5th century. It is explicitly mentioned in the Philokalia, in around 6th-7th century. It was also an important subject in the 19th century Russian book The Way of a Pilgrim.
There are different variants of the prayer, both lengthening it (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, the sinner), and shortening it (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me).
I like this prayer. It’s simple. I think that it’s both powerful and immensely humbling. It is a reminder of our own weakness and of God’s strength. It is a reminder of our depravity and of God’s purity. So we pray, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.