Weekend, May 16, 2020
When People Oppose You
“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them” (Romans 12:14 nlt).
For most of my life, I haven’t had any issues with squirrels. Until recently, that is. I put a little bird feeder in our backyard, which the birds were enjoying. Then the squirrels decided it was theirs too.
One squirrel, in particular, kept climbing on it. As a result, it kept falling off the tree, and the squirrel eventually destroyed it. Then I found a squirrel-proof bird feeder. I hung it up, and the next thing I knew, the squirrels were eating the birdseed again.
Then I searched for a special variety of birdseed that squirrels hate. I put it into the feeder, and before long a squirrel was hanging upside down, eating the special seed. I think he even enjoyed it.
It’s an ongoing struggle, and the squirrel is winning.
Maybe you aren’t battling squirrels, but you have felt as though the whole world is against you. Perhaps someone is giving you a hard time because of what you believe. It could be a spouse, a coworker, or your boss. Maybe it’s a professor, a teacher, or an Internet troll.
How should a Christian respond? Should we forgive them, even if they don’t deserve it? We find the answer in Romans 12: “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them” (verse 14 nlt).
The Greek word for bless in this verse means “to speak well of.” It’s the same term from which we get our English word eulogy. When someone gives the eulogy at a funeral service they say nice things about the deceased. And maybe some of those things weren’t actually deserved.
That is what the Bible is saying. We should bless those who are against us. Say nice things in return. It’s usually the last thing we want to do. But it’s what the Bible tells us to do.
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