by Pastor Mark Jordan
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” (Luke 6:27, NLT)
Do you have someone in your life who requires extra grace, you don’t particularly care for, or just downright don’t like? Are you that someone for another? Let’s face it, we all want to be liked, but that isn’t realistic, for there are times we run afoul of others. So what do we do when we find ourselves the target of someone’s ire? Jesus’ answer is plain: love them anyway.
Loving someone does not mean you have to like them. That might sound contradictory, but it isn’t. Jesus isn’t saying you have to be chummy with everyone, because he certainly wasn’t, but you do have to love people. Knowing God expects you to love your enemies gives you a guideline for how to behave when things get difficult with people. Take the advice from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and see what God wants from you — be patient and kind, not boastful, arrogant, or rude; don’t demand your own way, be irritable, or keep a record of all the times you’ve been wronged; don’t rejoice when bad things happen to others, but when truth wins; don’t give up or lose faith; and always be hopeful with endurance through whatever happens. You can’t control the way other think and feel, but you can choose the way you behave in the face of it.
Do you have someone in your life who requires extra grace, you don’t particularly care for, or just downright don’t like? Are you that someone for another? Love is the answer, regardless whichever side you find yourself on with another. When you read the list about what love does and doesn’t do, where do you need Jesus’ help? He loves you perfectly, and wants to help you love others, too. Will you let him?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your perfect love. I know it is something for which I must strive, and I confess how frequently I fall short. Forgive me and help me love in the difficult times with difficult people, even when the difficult person is me. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Have a love-filled day,