“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (NIV)
Remember those WWJD bracelets? WWJD stands for “What would Jesus do?” It was a movement that inspired countless people to pause, think things through, and act more like Jesus.
But one of the things that concerns me is when people ask what Jesus would do and then respond with vague love talk. “Well, we’re supposed to love one another, so I guess we should…”
The problem is that “love” can mean a lot of different things to different people. So what we need to do is try our best to understand love in the same way that Jesus understood love.
In light of that, I prefer the acronym WWJAD. What would Jesus actually do?
Granted, it’s not always easy to know. And I don’t pretend to have a direct line on his psyche just because I write a devotional and have a Bible app.
But I think we’re being a bit more honest when we ensure the Jesus we’re talking about is the Jesus who actually appears in the Bible.
With all that in mind, here’s how I think we should apply WWJAD to one area of our lives today. And it’s based on something Jesus actually said:
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Have you prayed for your enemies recently?
Maybe you don’t have “enemies” per se. But you probably have someone you don’t like or someone who talks behind your back. Maybe it’s someone who wronged you two years ago and you can’t let it go. Or maybe it’s someone who somehow threatens the welfare of your kids, your job, your faith, your country, or your mental sanity.
In each of those situations, wouldn’t that person benefit from prayer? And wouldn’t you benefit from praying for them?
I don’t mean to sound like a heavy, but when we only pray for the people we like, I think we’re disobeying God.
Today, pray for your enemies and for those who persecute you… or who frustrate you, annoy you, or threaten you.
And you’ll be one step closer to living like all people–and I mean ALL people–are actually children of God.
By Matthew Ruttan