I have never had much of a desire to be a referee. A friend of mine who has coached for a number of years calls them “Zebras”. Most of the fans think they know more rules than the officials. They certainly see the play “right” as opposed to the official who sees it “wrong”. Most of us fans know the call was wrong but the official made it as he saw it.
Now since I don’t ever plan to be a referee in a game of sports, I probably won’t get yelled at by irate fans. I was trying to imagine what would be the most difficult contest to officiate. A soccer contest between Iran and Israel? A match between Al Qaeda and the Taliban?
I think it would be very difficult to umpire a baseball game between the Knights of Columbus and the Ku Klux Klan. Any of these would put any official between a rock and a hard place.
Blessing those who curse you isn’t that easy. Jesus was able to do it because he looked beyond the offence to the Father above. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (I Peter 2:23)
I suppose that the flesh will fail us if we are faced with such dire circumstances. Flesh calls out for vengeance, justice, retribution. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
Now, I never expect to be an official in any of the above matches. What I would like to be able to do is to respond in kindness to the worst of situations. I would like to answer as Jesus answered. Perhaps you will forgive me if I am not yet perfect in these areas. I will try to forgive you as well. Maybe we can remain silent even if we are not quiet ready to bless those who curse us.