Week of May 20
Love Your Enemies
It is easy to be good to those who are good to us. It is much harder to be good to those who harm us. However, this is exactly what Christ commands us to do. In fact, He took this thought a step further by commanding us to love those who are our enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). Jesus admonished His followers to respond to those who hurt them with love so that His followers would become sons and daughters of God (Matthew 5:45).
If we are honest, then we must admit that often our first reaction to Christ’s words is one of defensiveness. We want to proclaim our rights and demand justice. God, however, has a different route for us to take and that is one of mercy and grace. He instructs us to treat others the way we would want to be treated.
Paul is quick to remind the Galatian believers that their hearts must be set on God’s goodness because goodness is an essential fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes, this means being good to those who have been bad to us. Not fair, you say?
The next time you feel as though an injustice has been committed against you, remember the Savior. He endured both rejection and insult, and He continued to demonstrate God’s infinite love and mercy even to those who crucified Him.
Let Jesus’ ultimate display of love be your inspiration as you respond in love to everyone you encounter today—even to those who have hurt you in the past. The evidence of Christ’s life within is the outward display of His goodness, mercy, and grace. May the Lord bless you as you seek to be more like Him each day.
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).
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