Who would imagine that when I first read Shakespeare’s OTHELLO more than fifty years ago I would ever meet someone like the satanic Iago who could profoundly affect my life in much the same way? After all, Iago, the epitome of evil, was only a fictional stage character meant to be contrasted with the gentle Othello for the sake of the audience. I read in horror as little by little Iago laid his plans for the inexplicable destruction of his friend while gullible, naive onlookers helped to “throw the stones.” Iago’s guile and duplicity were successful in destroying Othello and others at the same time.
One would think that people such as Iago do not actually exist in today’s world, but they do. They hiss out their mischievous slanders, lay their plots, and then quietly watch while the victim’s life runs amuck–all the while counting on the fact that, because of the very nature of the victim’s spirit, there will be no retaliation. In Act I, scene iii, of Othello, Iago says,
“The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.
I have’t, it is engendered: hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.”
At another time Iago speaks of Othello,
“Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
Had stomach for them all.”
You and I both know that slander can destroy a man’s life, and that the only “good” that comes of it is the delicious feeling in the “gut” of the slanderer.
“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ‘t is something, nothing;
‘T was mine, ‘t is his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.”
Nevertheless, “The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief.”
What a blessing for my soul mate that he was able to smile through it all; I see that, “He hath a daily beauty in his life.” Unfortunate for me, I had not previously been able to smile about it. But rather, my sympathies lay toward a just recompense of reward.
“O Heaven, that such companions thou ‘didst unfold,
And put in every honest hand a whip
To lash the rascals naked through the world!”
But our LORD says, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).
Do Not Be Anxious
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matt. 6:25-34).
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away (Matt. 5:38-42).
Love Your Enemies
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5:43-48).
2 thoughts on “REFLECTIONS ON THE IAGOS OF THE WORLD”
I cringed to read this bc I had a most surprising run-in this yr with a charismatic (CHRISTIAN) woman who stabbed me in the back…in public! And didn’t stop there. Seriously is amazing, how dark and blind some people’s hearts run. And a very difficult burden when they make your life that much harder. The way God vindicated His own throughout Scripture is always a comfort. And one special friend prayed a prayer that washed over me like a balm and actually came true, that no weapon fashioned against me would prosper.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Supposedly this “Iago” was a Christian too–at least he posed as one. However, I know he is/was not. Genuine Christians don’t do that to each other. Sometimes I have to be reminded to return good for evil to everyone, no matter what they call themselves. Last month I ordered a fine, hot pink, jersey dress on sale (still nearly $100) skirt too. I have dealt with the company before and always been pleased with their service. But this time I realized my shape no longer suited the beautiful dress. I had no choice but to return rather than just exchange. The mystery was how I managed to lose my return label. I called the company to ask if they could send me a new one, but the customer “care” representative was sharp and caustic and I got no label. Anyway, I spent $27 to ship the package back by overnight mail. Yesterday I got a notice from the company that I received $80 credit on my order when my purchase price had been $137. I wanted to write to Better Business Bureau, but my husband reminded me that Rom 12:17 says, “Recompense to no man evil for evil.”