“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. ‘But I tell you: Love your enemies bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (emphasis mine)
How’s that for words of life! How awesome! How radical! Loving our enemies? Loving people who actively work against us? Love them, to have their best interest at heart, to want the best for them. To bless those who curse us? Do good for those who hate us? Pray for those who make life hard for us!?! It’s the complete antithesis of our instinctual self-preservation! What? Put them ahead of ourselves?
How? You’re kidding right?? That’s a pretty huge ask! I mean, if I give them an inch they’ll take a mile! It’ll surely end in tears (mine!). It’ll all go pear shaped! Nup. I have to protect myself. I have to stay away from them.
But, what if someone taught me a better way? A better way. The Way… love. The Truth… all have sinned, and while we were still sinners, He died for us. The Life… life abundant. Not held captive by anything… anything.We’re all broken. We all need love. We all want to be signifcant. We all want to matter. The great majority of people have no clue how much they are loved. They don’t get that they don’t have to put others down in order to feel okay about themselves. They don’t know how to love others without feeling diminished by it… how sad is that!? Surely it’s the antithesis of life…?
Imagine spending all your days trying to prove yourself, comparing yourself with others, competing and downgrading…? They aren’t really our enemies, they’re their own worst enemies. They’ll never achieve what they want. They’ll always be someone else in their way, or doing better, or happier, or richer, or more popular, or even more content. They don’t like themselves. They’re so insecure.
How can our response be anything but love? How can we not want them to know the truth? To set them free from this incredible lie!? How can we not pray for them? How can we not want to bless them? To do good for them? To love them! How can we not want the best for them? To bless their proverbial socks off!!! To show them a better Way!!
Isn’t He…. ?!