Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Loving Those You'd Rather Hate

Luke 6:27 A man who had reached his 100th birthday was being interviewed by a reporter. "What are you most proud of?" the reporter asked.

"Well, " said the man, "I don't have an enemy in the world."

"What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!" said the reporter.

"Yep," added the man, "I outlived every last one of them."

Is that your approach to dealing with your enemies? Is it just to avoid and ignore them, hoping that you outlive and outlast them?

Maybe you secretly hope and plan and pray for bad things to happen to them. Maybe you take a more active stance toward your enemies and gossip about them, spread lies about them, turn them into the police when they do something wrong, and pray that God will punish them for their wicked ways.

This is how most of the world operates toward enemies. We go to war with them. We plan and plot their demise. We rejoice in their failures and mourn at their successes. We write letters, make phone calls, send e-mails and muster up support among our friends. We try to get people to side with us and join the team of those who are angry at others. That's the way the world is, and the church often acts in similar fashion.

Our enemies are those who purposefully and knowingly seek our ill-will. They have bitterness and hate in their hearts against us. They do not seek our good, but only what is evil. It is these people, church, that we are to love.

Loving our enemies goes contrary to what feels right or normal. In fact, as Christ develops for us how we are to love our enemies, notice that he wants us to treat our enemies better than most of us treat our own family members! That should make us think about how we treat our families. Loving our enemies is a challenging thing - especially when we have struggles enough loving our own families.

Jesus never asks us to do something He has not already done Himself. As you read through the Gospels, notice how Jesus loves his enemies. Take Judas for example. Jesus wasn't ignorant of who Judas was or what he was going to do, but Jesus loved Judas anyway. The next time you read through the Gospels, notice how Jesus interacts with Judas. He never slights Judas. Never has an unkind word for Him. It seems at times, that Judas gets better treatments and more special love from Jesus than some of the other disciples. It seems crazy indeed, but the best way to deal with someone who wants to harm you, is to just love them, pray for them and treat them kindly.

Seek after Faith, Hope & Love, But of these three, LOVE IS THE GREATEST!!! ~ Pas Cochise

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