"Love Your Enemies"

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By: Autumn Sisk


Luke 6:35-36, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the most high, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (NIV)


As I ponder the verses above, I think about how aggravated and annoyed I sometimes get with people. Normally I love dealing with people, but occasionally I want to run and hide from everyone. At my job I have to try my best to please the customer (the person paying me to work for them). So, their happiness dictates my work. If I upset someone taking tennis lessons from me, they might tell all of their friends how terrible I am, thus hurting my business and reputation.


What really upsets me is that it seems there are always a few people who are never satisfied. No matter what I do, they complain and grumble. I get so frustrated at times that I want to scream, and other times I just have to go home and have a good cry. Nothing I do is good enough.


Those are the times when I see how Jesus must feel when I am continually ungrateful for the many things He has done for me. When I think about it, I have it pretty good compared to Christ’s leaving heaven for earth, living poor, being attacked and abused, and ultimately giving His life on a cross because He of His love for others. One person giving me a hard time at work is nothing compared to what Christ endured!


Jesus was good to everyone, no matter their social status, line of work, looks, or how they treated Him. After Peter cut off an ear of a solider who came to arrest Jesus in the garden, Jesus healed that soldier’s ear. He showed love even to those who were arresting Him. After an unjust trial, horrific physical beatings and while hanging on the cross, Jesus looked over the crowd and prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:24, NIV). In treating His enemies with love and respect, Jesus set an example for His followers.


If He showed kindness to those who wanted Him dead…if He shows kindness to me, an ungrateful and impatient tennis teacher, then what right do I have to be unkind to others?


To be like Jesus, I must be kind to those who mistreat me, love the unlovable, and pray for my enemies. Kindness can give them an understanding of God’s love. I must try to do this without expecting any love in return, which is sometimes a tough thing to do. It won’t always be fun, but it is what Jesus wants me to do, so I’m going to try. Will you join me?


Prayer:


Dear Lord, thank You for all of Your sacrifices for me. Please teach me to give, love and show mercy to others as a way of showing You that I love and appreciate You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:


31 Days of Prayer by Ruth Myers


T
he Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God by Nancy Stafford


Think About It:

Do I react harshly when others mistreat me?

How would my life be different if I tried to love those who are the hardest to deal with?

Live It:

Determine in your heart to be merciful and kind to those who treat you wrongly.

Pray for at least one person who gives you are hard time. Ask God to give you to love in your heart for that person.

Power Verses:

Matthew 22:37-39, “’Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (NIV)

Matthew 5:39, 44-45, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him your other also. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (NIV)

© 2009 by Autumn Sisk. All rights reserved.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! It's exactly what I needed to hear. With patience I believe God will grant us the ability to love and accept people just as they are!

Yvonne

Anonymous Kristen said...

Amen to that, Yvonne. Somehow Jesus did it, and we're supposed to follow Him and become more like Him ... but we can't possibly love and accept others without Him!

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