But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. - Luke 6:27,32,36 (NLT)
While I continue to be convicted and motivated to love the people around me, I am constantly challenged by Christ to love the people I do not like and the people that are my enemies. This is a place where discipleship becomes costly.
When I am willing to listen to this teaching and apply the instruction of Christ to my life, I again find myself aligned and connected with His mission and purpose. We see Christ in the presence of his enemies throughout his ministry. He teaches them and admonishes them by answering their questions. He stands before them in court. He allows their beatings and verbal attacks. He dies on the cross between two of them.
He was able to end their existence with a single word. His follows wanted to lead this charge against his enemies but he turned them down. Knowing that the compassion of the Father was a part of His mission. The example had to be made. His purpose was greater. (Matthew 26:53)
I am called to this example of Christ - who died for the whole world - for me, while I was still a sinner, an enemy of God.
I am called love my enemies and do good to those who hate me. I am to love them through action. By helping them when their needs become known. By not bad mouthing them or slandering them to others. By stepping into their lives when others step out.
When I do this, a transformation occurs. My heart becomes less concerned about revenge or hatred of my enemies and I begin to be filled with the Father's compassion. And, my enemies change as well. They see my behavior and are drawn into conflict with their own hatred and anger. As I forgive them, they cannot help but face the reality of Christ and make a decision to respond to the message burning into their mind and heart. (Romans 12:20)
LORD, thank you for your patience and compassion with me throughout my life. Thank you for extending grace to me and loving me even while I still was against you. Holy Spirit, help me to love my enemies and those who hate me. Help me to show them compassion instead of hatred. Help me to act out of love and obedience to you and not my desire for revenge. Jesus, give me your eyes, heart, and hands for my enemies. Amen.
Questions To Consider:
- Is there someone in your life or at work that you could show kindness and love to instead of apathy or even hatred?
- Is there someone in your life that needs your forgiveness so you can reconcile and restore a relationship?
- Does your leadership promote a culture of compassion and forgiveness?
Make it a great day!