How do you treat others?
“But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you.”
This passage of Scripture highlights the instructions of Jesus, on how to treat our enemies. This passage falls near one of Jesus’ famous sermons where He instructs His disciples on how to live as His followers. These are truths that Christ lived by, and as Christ-followers, we should pursue them as well. But loving your enemies is no easy task. It’s a tough command.
If we look at the previous verses, leading up to this one, we see how Jesus is instructing His disciples and the attitude they must have towards others.
Growing up I always heard the phrase, “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”
This seemed an easy task for people who are kind and generous to us. But what about those people who are not so nice to us? My mom used to always share with me, “Those that are the hardest to love, need love the most.” Oh, that was so hard to hear growing up, but my mom was right.
The truth is we may not know what that person has gone through or is going through. Act in love and grace. Loving our enemies does not mean we support them in what they do. We may not agree with them, and we may not become friends with them. As we read through Scripture, we can find strength and encouragement through Jesus’ example. Think of how Jesus treated Judas, who betrayed Jesus. Jesus still treated Judas with compassion, even though Judas had wronged Jesus.
Loving our enemies is counter-cultural. The world says, “Fight back and get revenge!”
But Jesus wants us to pray for our enemies and do good to those who hate us.
I encourage you today and this week, to go out of your way to be kind and show God’s love to others. Do it with a smile and kind heart and don’t expect anything in return. You never know what a difference you can make and how God can use you.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of today. Help us to love others. Help us to love not only those who are easy to love, but those who may have wronged us. Lord, when we are hurt, help us to respond with grace and compassion. Lord, I lift up those to whom you have been badly hurt by someone. Would You heal their hearts, as only You can.
We know that loving our enemies does not come naturally and we need Your help. Fill us with Your love, Your peace, Your joy and Your strength. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, help us to be a good witness and example as we seek to follow You. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
We certainly hope this blesses and encourages you. May God strengthen you today. He IS faithful and you are loved. I’m praying for you!