“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.”
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32-36
Who do you spend your free-time with on a daily or weekly basis? Is it your family, work friends, and/or church friends? Are there times that you have to be with people that you don’t necessarily like because of work or social situations? You know who I mean, the co-worker who is always complaining; the parents of your kids’ friends who continuously brag about their children or even the community committee member who is loud and obnoxious. And what about the lady that is constantly talking behind your back and spreading gossip to anyone that will listen?
Do you enjoy spending time with them? Probably not, but we are often thrown into a mix of people on a regular basis that we don’t necessarily consider our friends. Many times, we feel we are justified in not liking them, and maybe even hating them. Maybe they actually did do something that hurt you or one of your friends, or you don’t feel you owe them respect because of something they did in the past. You might even consider them your enemy.
Jesus wants His followers to give the difficult people in our lives better than what they deserve. He wants us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. He wants us to turn the other cheek by introducing the grace of God into a situation where others expect revenge or want to “get even”.
I recently read the phrase, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” When you can’t forgive someone, what does it do to you? Usually it causes you to get upset about it and causes you anger every time you think about it. You might justify it and complain that it’s the other persons fault. But for your own peace, you need to let it go. You need to turn the other cheek, treat them how you would want to be treated and give, love and pray for them. In other words…. Love your enemies.
If you refuse to fight, you will be blessed. Love the difficult people in your life for their sake, and for yours. Jesus says, Love your enemies, and he follows that with Do good to them. When someone hurts you, the truth is that even though your pain is real, it says more about them than about you. Doing good means that you will strive to help them heal, despite the way they treated you.
You will be hurt over and over again in your life. There is no doubt about that. So how do you pray for someone you dislike or even hate? Ask God to love that person through you, because you know you can’t do it on your own. Seek the blessing for them that you want God to do for you. Is that going to be easy? Nope. But with God’s help, He will help us love our enemies and treat them as we wish to be treated.
When we do this, we will find ourselves transformed… and we will begin to see other people the way God sees people, and love others the way God loves others.
Have a blessed day.
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