We just recently received an email from one of our readers. The question she had asked us was whether or not we as Christians could curse someone else for something wrong they were doing to us. The reason she was asking this question was due to something she heard her own pastor do in one of his services.
Long story short, they had some problems with several women in their church. These women then left the church and started to bad-mouth the pastor and his church to others on the outside.
Then at one of their Sunday services the pastor commented on what was occurring with these women, and then made the comment “to let everything they were saying come back on their head 100 times and everything be returned back upon them. “
Our reader was not comfortable with this kind of statement her pastor was making, and she then wrote in asking if this was a form of cursing and if so, whether or not he should be doing something like this. We wrote her back and told her we did feel this was a form of cursing and that he should not be doing something like this.
I have also heard some very well-known TV preachers over the years do something similar and again, I was never comfortable with this kind of rhetoric, as I felt they were crossing a line into actually cursing those who were trying to do them wrong.
As you will see in the Scripture verses I will give you in this article, I believe Jesus is asking all of us to live and operate at a higher level and standard now that He has already died on the cross for all of our sins and trespasses..
Back in the OT, there were several instances of His people cursing their enemies. The prophet Jeremiah had several times asked God to bring doom and destruction upon those who were coming after Israel.
However, when you look at the specific wording in the verses I will now give you, I do not believe the Lord wants us to engage in this kind of activity. In these specific verses, Jesus is telling us to love our enemies, along with blessing them and praying for them.
He is not telling us to ask God to bring down any kind of death, doom, and destruction on those who are trying to hurt us.
As we have shown you in our article titled, “Battle Verses of the Bible,” God does have a war side to His personality and He will not hesitate to go into battle to protect you and your loved ones if you need Him to do it for you – but let God decide how He will want to handle each individual matter you may be dealing with.
Do not ask God to kill or bring down any kind of bodily harm or major calamity on your enemies.
Granted, God did strike and kill some of Israel’s enemies back in the OT, but let Him decide how He will fight each battle and what kinds of judgments He will want to render against anyone who is trying to unjustly hurt you. This is His territory, not ours.
In some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries, the word “curse” or “cursing” means the following:
- To call down evil upon others violently
- A call for evil to rest on someone
- Invocation of evil against one’s enemies
Notice in all 3 of these definitions, you are asking “evil” to come upon another for what they are trying to do against you. As you will see in one of the verses I will give you below, the Lord is flat out telling us that we are not to repay evil with evil. Instead He wants us to love them. bless them, and pray for them.
He does not want us asking God the Father to strike them dead or cause any kind of major calamity to occur in their lives.
Again, this is the Lord’s territory, and He will be the One who will decide what kind of corrective action will need to be taken with the enemies in your life, not you or any of your close friends or family members.
I know when you have been viciously wronged by another person, you will have an initial knee-jerk reaction to want to exact some kind of personal vengeance. You will either want to try and take matters into your own hands, or you will want to ask God to strike them with some kind of heavy blow due to whatever evil this person may have just struck you with.
But again, when you study the specific wording in the verses I will now give you, God does not want us taking this kind of action or having this kind of vengeful attitude. He wants you to have just the opposite kind of reaction. He will want you to love them, bless them, and pray for them.
I will now go ahead and break these verses down under 3 specific captions so you can really see what the Lord is trying to tell us on this topic.
1. Bless Those Who Will Persecute You – And Do Not Curse
This first verse will completely answer this question for all of us. This verse is coming from the apostle Paul. This verse is a very simple one-liner, but in it is a direct command from the Lord not to curse those who are trying to persecute us in any way. Instead we are to bless them.
Here it is:
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)
When Paul is telling us not to curse those who are trying to hurt us, I believe he is talking about cursing them in the way the above definitions are stating. I do not believe he is talking about curse words and swearing, which would be a different definition of this word.
You can tell by the context this word is being used in, that he is referring to using cursing to try and get evil to fall down upon someone else for what they may have done to you.
2. Love, Bless, and Pray For Your Enemies
These next two verses coming direct from Jesus Himself are now going to add more to all of this. In addition to Paul telling us to bless those who will try and persecute us and not to curse them, Jesus will now be asking all of us to actually love our enemies.
He is telling us in these two verses that we are to:
- Love them
- Bless them
- Pray for them
- Do good to those who hate you
If Jesus is telling us to love and bless our enemies, and to still continue to do good for them, this does not leave room for any type of cursing.
If God wants us to pray for our enemies, I do not think He will want us to pray that He bring down any kind of major misfortune or calamity on them, all just so we can get some kind of personal revenge for what they may have just done to us.
Here are two very strong and powerful verses direct from Jesus Himself on this tropic:
- “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, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? … Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:44-48)
- “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36)
In the Sanctification Section of our site, we have a very good article on how God wants us to love other people in this life. The title of this article is, “The Power of Love.” In this article is a section on how we can learn how to love even the worst of our enemies in the way that God would really like.
Notice in the last verse it says that even God Himself is kind and merciful to the unthankful and evil and we should also be the same way in our dealings with them.
3. Vengeance Belongs to the Lord – Not To Us
These next set of verses will now put the icing on this entire subject matter. These next set of verses will very clearly tell us that any kind of vengeance in this life belongs to the Lord, not to us, or any of our family members who would like to try and get even for us.
Here are two extremely strong verses, telling us in no uncertain terms, that vengeance in this life belongs to the Lord and not to any of us.
- “Repay no one evil for evil … live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves … for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink … Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21)
- “God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; the Lord avenges and is furious. The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and reserves wrath for His enemies; the Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” (Nahum 1:2-3)
The first verse simply says it all. This verse is telling us to “repay no one evil for evil.”
Per the above definitions on what cursing is all about, these definitions are all using the word “evil” in them. When you curse someone else, you are in fact trying to call down some kind of an evil act to fall upon them for whatever they have personally done to you.
By the way this first verse is reading, you are in direct violation of this command from the Lord every time you try and curse someone, as you are trying to repay an evil act done against you with another evil act on your part. The very last part of this verse is telling us not to overcome evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.
As you can from the way these verses are reading, the Lord wants us to do just the exact opposite. He wants us to love them, bless them, pray for them, and feed them – not to curse them and wish that any kind of major calamity or harm come upon them.
In the Psychological Issues section of our site, we have another good article on just this one topic. The title of this article is, “Vengeance Belongs to the Lord.” This article will give you more good commentary on this topic if there are any of you out there who are wrestling with the Lord on this issue due to what someone else may have done to you.
When you put all of these verses together like you would pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, I think the revelation comes through loud and clear. Though there was some cursing done back in the OT, I believe God wants all of us to live at a higher level in the NT now that we all have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us to help sanctify us and transform us.
When God is now telling us to love our enemies, along with blessing them and praying for them, I do not think there is any room to directly try and curse them for whatever evil they may have done to us. As the last two verses have told us, any kind of vengeance and payback in this life belongs to the Lord, not to us.
As such, we should forgive all those who will trespass against us in this life and get on with the rest of our lives so we can complete and fulfill all of our divine destiny for the Lord.
When everything is all finally said and done, God will be righting all of the wrongs ever done to us by others in this life. That is why we can let go and let God, because it is now His job to take care of our enemies and what they may try and do to us in this life.
As you will see in reviewing the stories in our Testimonies section of our site, we can ask and petition God to come to our aid and help fight our battles when being unjustly attacked by others, but we have to let Him decide which strategies He will want to use and what kind of corrective action He will want to take when He does go into battle for us.
We are not to ask God to kill our enemies, or to bring down any kind of major calamity on them. I believe this is going too far, especially with how all of the above verses are being worded by the Lord.
The only Person who will be doing any kind of cursing in this life when it will be appropriate will be God Himself. Here is a good verse that will show you that God can curse someone if He will want to do so:
Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
All in all, I think Christians should abide by what the Lord is telling us in these New Testament verses and stay away from trying to curse anyone, no matter what kind of evil they may have done to you.
With God going to be judging everyone for every bad thing they have ever done if it has not been covered under the blood of Jesus before they die and cross over, we can let all of this go into His hands and get on with the rest of our lives. This life is way too short to be wallowing in the hurts and injustices of our past.