“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Why is it so hard to obey this? Why can’t Jesus’ commands be easy, such as, “Go and have fun!” I would also prefer, “Enjoy your life and be nice to nice people.” But love my enemies? Can’t we just ignore those people?
Here are some reasons to do as we are commanded:
God is a God of justice. If we are truly being abused, He will take care of it. We don’t have to try to take our own revenge. Since He created everyone, including the ones against us, He is much more creative and effective than we could be. By praying for them and being kind, we are leaving the outcome in God’s hands.
Our peace is more important than making sure someone is punished. When we hold onto that pain and unforgiveness, it hardens us and makes us constantly anxious. However, when we let go of our right to seek retribution, we can move forward in our own life. Who wants to be stuck in limbo anyways?
When we love everyone, we set an example for those around us. People are watching us, whether we know it or not. They are looking to see how we behave. If we only are kind to those who act kind to us, what credit is that to God? Anyone can do that! If He is living inside us, the power to love the unlovable comes from Him and not our own strength. Let’s show that to the world.
Seeing God work gives us more faith. If we begin to pray for someone who has hurt us, our hearts will soften toward them. We will actually notice love for them. That is a sure sign that God is at work in us, as loving a persecutor is not a human trait. Feeling God work through us like that is a great reminder for us of His power!
God wants us free from all bitterness and that means not holding on to hurt. No matter what someone has done, we are to love them. Since we can’t do that on our own, we must first pray for them. God will supply the forgiveness and love in time. This may seem like the hardest and most unnatural thing to do, but it really is the wisest.
Start praying for those who hurt you and see how God moves!
Linking with Holley Gerth