by Pastor Mark Jordan
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does.” (Matthew 6:43-45a, MSG)
Something came to me the other day that stopped my in my tracks. It pertains to Jesus’ challenge in the Sermon on the Mount to love your enemies. That is definitely part of our Christian heritage, but can be difficult to do. Jesus would never ask you to do something impossible, however, so there is a lesson here which is summarized by, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
So why would Jesus command us to love our enemies? So we do not become like them. Let that sink in. Loving the unlovable is what can bring out the best in you, even when others are at their worst. This truly makes you more like Jesus, because this is what Jesus does for you.
Are you working out your God-creates self? Are you striving to be more like Jesus, not just when it’s easy, but especially when it’s hard? Start with prayer, asking God to help you, so you can devote your energies to helping others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving me, even when I’m unlovable. Help me to be more like you, seeking and sharing prayer power not just when it’s easy, but especially when it’s difficult. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.