Jesus said: “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45).
Yup, that’s a very difficult thing to do, especially when you’ve been wronged in some way.
Lately I’ve noticed how our society disagrees with Jesus’ words. When someone wrongs you it appears you should try to “cancel” them online, sue them, or somehow “make them pay.”
Fred Craddock has a helpful word about loving enemies. Jesus’ followers are “not to react,” he writes, “but to act according to the kingdom principles of love, forgiveness, and generosity… one’s life-style is not determined by the enemy.”*
If we lash out in hate, we are letting our actions be determined by the one we consider an enemy. We’re just playing their game. But since our Master is Jesus, we want our actions to be determined by him—relying very heavily on his strength and grace in the process!
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
“one’s life-style is not determined by the enemy.”
–My latest podcast is an in-depth biblical study on Luke 21:5-38. I call it “End times, a temple in ruins, persecution and being ready.” It’s a part of The Pulse Podcast and you can listen here, or wherever you subscribe to podcasts.
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–*Fred B. Craddock, Luke: Interpretation—A Bible Commentary for Preaching and Teaching, ed. James L. Mays (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1990), 90.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.