"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. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty." (Matthew 5:43-47)
well. there's our Friday morning wake-up call. straight from the Word of God, which we strive to obey. right? oh wait...there's more.
"If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity.wow. thank God for His generousity and grace! i know i'm not always loveable. and yet, i know that He always loves me. i know i don't always greet Him, but He is always there for me. i don't know about you, but i want to get it right in this life. even if it means i have to pray for the unlovable.
Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." (Matthew 5:47-48)
hmmmm. who are you going to be loving towards today? who are you going to say 'hello' to? who are you going to pray for? God is telling us by showing us to not just pray blessings for the people we love, but to also pray blessings for the people who we aren't loving so much.
think of it this way, because it's a harder pill to swallow: someone somewhere out there is not very happy with you. this person was recently in your life as a friend but lately is downright mad at you, wants nothing to do with you. and you don't even know it. ouch.
BUT with GOD, that person is praying for you.
nasty check-out lady? pray for her.
a friend did you wrong? pray for her.
your husband's buddy is always rude? pray for him.
your sister made you red-hot-mad? pray for her.
do it in front of your children.
"When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer,"it's not easy, believe me. but it works. it softens the heart and heals the pain and allows God to pour out His love onto you. it makes you more like Him. and isn't that what we're trying to do with this life anyway?
photo credit: kaathleeen