If you are reviled, bless your reviler. If they receive your blessing in good order it is of benefit for both of you. And if they do not accept your blessing, then they shall bear the burden of their reviling, but you shall be at peace.
– The Paradise Of The Holy Fathers, Wallis Budge, (tr.)
Over a decade ago a bishop was with me in a denominational discussion. One of the other participants was so incensed by a part of that discussion that when it came my time to speak I calmly and pastorally stated my position only to be forcefully accused by this person of heresy, which it was not; they were simply angry and frustrated. I responded to them by recognizing our differences and then I blessed them. Later the bishop approached me and stated that I was acting passive-aggressively by having blessed them…that I could not have meant it sincerely. I assured him that I did mean it sincerely. He looked perplexed and confused. Why can’t you bless those who disagree with you, even those who would do you in? Isn’t that the nature of Christ? Aren’t we to be Christ in those situations? I didn’t mean it from any standpoint of superiority but of simply wishing them well. Don’t you wish them well? But he could not wrap his mind around this. And my thought at the time was, Well, God bless you.