“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” Matthew 5:43-45
This is hard to do. Trust me. It’s hard to bless those who curse you. (or, one might say, those who speak unkindly of you to others not directly involved in a situation.)
When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.
This one is Plato and is not hard to do. But it’s hard to trust in. I do the best I can here – I live as best as I can. I’m human, sometimes I mess up. Sometimes my shyness (yes) come across as snobbishness or snottiness, which is unintended. And sometimes I just lapse into decidedly un-Christ-like responses to situations that get me upset. But, generally speaking, I do my best to live so that people will think good of me, not bad.
But it’s hard to trust in that. When you know that someone’s talking smack about you, it’s hard to sit and say “well, I hope people know me better than to believe it.”
I guess I also need to trust that those with whom I am acquainted – or those with whom I will be acquainted in the future – aren’t so gullible!!