“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. 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.” (Matt 5:43-47, MSG)
I wonder, how do we react when our bosses are nasty with us? Does this justify retaliation? Or just maybe we need to consider showing ourselves as true believers of the Most High. Wouldn’t it be more conducive to pray for them instead of cursing them? Wouldn’t it be better to accept them the way they are instead of calling them unflattering comparisons? Love will turn the world around, not hatred.
See what happens when we show our true selves:
June 17, 2015 in Charleston South Carolina was a very sad day, for this was the day nine Afro-American people were murdered in their church, Emanuel AME. A 21 year-old white man showed up at their Bible Study. He was fascinated by their warm welcome, but that didn’t stop him from killing these Afro-Americans.
That church had already faced so many trials in the past. At one time it was burned and then rebuild. Between 1834 and 1865, these worshippers had to hide when worshipping, as Afro-American churches were outlawed. That didn’t discourage them, nor did that brutal shooting.
During the trial, the judge allowed family members of the victims to speak. This was unheard of. What was even more astonishing was that none of them cursed the killer or even had any words of hatred towards him. All they could say was: “I forgive you.” Over and over, everyone said the same thing: “I forgive you!”
The media shared their message all over the world. People couldn’t understand how they could forgive such a heinous criminal, but these family members showed their true colors to the world. I am certain that their love hindered more riots in the United States.
If these families who lost their loved ones were able to forgive, how can we justify any of our rumblings and criticisms? Isn’t it better to love at all times, even if our bosses are grumpy? Only then will we show who we truly are.
I hope you will have a Son-filled day.
(To access the entire “Majestic Mountain View” devotional series, please click here.)