This article was written on January 4, 1999. I had never sent it out; today I have reread it, and it bears witness with me more than 7 years later. It has stood the test of time in my own life, and rings as true today as the day I first penned it. I pray that it might bless you as much as I myself have been blessed in rereading it. God bless you! Daniel Parkes
I couldn’t be more serious when I write this selection: don’t curse your neighbour. The fall-out from cursing can be serious.
Over a year ago, my wife and I got a new furnace installed. Before the installation, I installed a 3 inch concrete platform on which to place the furnace, to protect against any possible water damage that might occur in the event of flooding. Now, mostly, it seems, people don’t do this. But I decided to do this, since it was an easy thing to do. I simply made a form out of wood, mixed the concrete, and poured it inside the form. Nothing too difficult. The concrete was dry before the men came over to do the installation of the furnace. What I didn’t know was that one the men who would do the installation would not be too pleased about that platform. To him, it made it more difficult to install the furnace because it left just a bit less clearance that he would have liked. But that was not what I was told before installing the platform. The sales rep had said to me, quite clearly, “No problem. Just make sure it is no more than about 4 inches in height.”
The man doing the installation, however, cursed me for putting that platform in. You can imagine what he said, under his breath, of course, but nevertheless cursing me. Now, friend, there is nothing at all wrong with installing a 3″ platform, but there is a lot wrong with cursing someone. And here, too, is another equally wrong thing to do: Not dealing with the man who cursed me. Unfortunately, I let that curse bother me for quite some time (about a whole year) before actually doing something about it. You see, there was fear playing in me. Lacking real experience in these things, I wasn’t sure what the “right” thing to do was. You see, the man who cursed me, also did a terrible job of installing that furnace. Instead of being careful with this precision instrument, he just “shoved it” in place, even when he did not have enough clearance (he should have made more clearance by cutting back the plenum before trying to install it). In so doing, he bent the plenum (the metal duct that attaches on top). And he also botched up the installation of the gas lines, putting them too close to the outlet of the furnace (applying undue pressure on the outlet).
In my anger, I did not deal with the real source of the problem — that man. Instead, I prejudged the whole company. Again, I didn’t really know what to do. And, it seems, God didn’t really “tell” me, either, what to do. He would let me “work it out,” as it were. The Bible says, we are to “work out” our salvation with “trembling and fear.” Finally, a year later, the company sent me a letter concerning doing a “tune up” on the new furnace. It was then that I was able to “let out” my steam concerning the “bad man” who had cursed me. The man replied to me, “He cursed you, and you are ending up cursing the whole company in return.” Not good. Get the point? The whole company doesn’t deserve to be put under my own curse because one man fouled up. I repent. By laying the curse on them (the whole company), I really fouled up and brought a curse on myself — and my whole family. In fact, it was only about a month ago that our little precious baby that we were expecting died in the womb. And, you see, things like this happen for a reason. An undeserved curse does not come to rest. The man cursed me, and instead of dealing with the man in a biblical way, I cursed the whole company back, assume them to be a “bunch of ….” (you fill in the blank). But what I got in return was “deserved cursing” — “for whatever a man sows, this he shall also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).
And, I must confess, there are other such “men” that I still need to get right with — men who have cursed me during the past few years, with whom I have still not properly “dealt” with them. In so doing, I am putting my ministry, and my whole family, at jeapordy. Will you pray for me? I feel like I’ve gotten myself into a terrible maze — but God is working this all out for his purpose, that I might be used to silence those who curse without cause, by showing them their own sin in return. For the Bible does say, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him.” (Lev 19:17). I preached a message on this once. I should learn to apply it more frequently, however, for I have forgotten to do so!
Let us then be careful not to practice these same things. But approach the one who has offended you and deal with him in a brotherly way (even if he is not a Christian, per se, at least give him the benefit of the doubt and love the person, and deal with them as a person created in God’s image).