When you are hurt, what usually is your response? Do we also hurt the person who have hurt us?

I remember when my niece was growing up. It was a time where we taught her, directly and indirectly, with different attitudes, both the good and bad attitudes. Unconsciously, we adults actually taught her more bad attitudes. Like for example, she would run around the house but then hurt herself at the end as she stumbled on the floor or accidentally hit her head on the table. She would cry then and we will come to comfort her. And to make her stop crying, we would tell her “you hit back, hit the floor from which you stumble or the table that hits your head.” And she would do that and tell her not to cry anymore. As if hitting back would take away the pain.

But one day I accidentally hit her. She cried and automatically hit back. I was so shocked at that. And I realized we taught something so ugly to the child. We taught her how not to forgive and feel better at taking revenge. Unconsciously, we instill into the mind of a child the culture of hate, of anger, of revenge or not forgiving. 

This kind of attitude is not what we find in this Jewish Girl who have become captive and slave of an Aramean, Naaman.

Was she filled with anger and hate? With bitterness and desire to take revenge against her captors?

No. Perhaps she felt afraid and disappointed of what happened to her and her family but her situation did not prevent her to express her kindness.

In fact, her kindness led a foreigner to conversion, to encounter God. Naaman was cured from his leprosy through prophet Elisha. In that way, this foreigner invader knew and encountered the merciful God.

Thus, even with our experiences of pain and difficulties, God can make miracles. Even through our pain and sorrow, we can give life and be an instrument of life.

Taking revenge, then, when we are hurt is not the answer because we will create our own cycle of violence, revenge, anger and hatred. We will become prisoner of our own pain then. All of these will only control our lives, our thoughts and actions towards others. We will never be free. We will begin to become suspicious to our other relationships. We will be afraid of trusting others, of loving others again and even ourselves.

We are afraid because we linger to that pain thinking that other people might do it again to us. Hence, the cycle will never end. That Jewish Girl chose not to be a slave of revenge and hatred, she chose kindness because that made her free.