But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Luke 6:27-28
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you. Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 1 Peter 1:22-23
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
There are those people in the sphere of our lives who are hard to like: they rub us the wrong way, they are hard to relate to them, their likes and dislikes are different from ours, they just make us feel uncomfortable. Then there are those people who are “really” hard to like. This is because they have hurt us in the past and we are sure that to be around them will mean being hurt some more. These are the ones who, when they are around, seemingly come up against us with ill will and malice in a clear demonstration that they really don’t “like” us. So, our overall stance toward them is really a reactionary stance, a posture of defense. We try to stand clear of them or be ready to do battle when being engaged with them is unavoidable.
But, as ones who are seeking to live fully for God is this what we should settle for in our relating to such people? Should our emotions and fears be the predominating factors of how we relate to them? We are told not to be overcome by evil and that is exactly what behaving in this way comes down to. We are to overcome evil by doing good and we are not to return evil for evil. We are also told to put aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander. Jesus really meant it when He told us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to bless those who curse us, and to pray for those who hurt us. If we avoid such people or hurt them in return when we can’t avoid them, how will we ever be the agents of love and blessing that Jesus calls us to be in the lives of these people who desperately need Him?
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I confess that I am so much more prone to “curse and not bless” than I am to “bless and not curse.” Help me not to settle for this. Help to believe that I can genuinely do good to those who hate me. Help me to really believe that evil can be overcome by good. Teach me how to pray for them. Teach me how to take a posture of love and blessing before them and all people. I choose to launch out with you in the amazing journey of being an agent of love and blessing. Amen!
Posted on Tue, October 2, 2018
by Ken Hart