Saturday, November 12, 2016

Love Our Enemies? It's an Upside Down World!

It can seem like we’re really in an upside down world when we read some quotes from Jesus. In Matthew 5:44, He said “Love your enemies! Bless them that curse you! Do good to them that hate you! Pray for them who spitefully use you, and persecute you!” Holy jumping catfish! Doesn’t that sound just preposterous? How could I possibly love someone that hurt me or rejected me or even cursed me?

How is it possible to love our enemies? How can we do good to anyone that hates us, curses us, uses us and persecutes us? And, even a step further, to “bless them and pray for them”? How absolutely IMPOSSIBLE these words seem to be!

I think Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words explain it so well: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, 'Love your enemies'. It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says 'love'. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies."

I like to live by the words, What Would Jesus Do? (WWJD), in determining what action I should take in any given situation. He set the example for us in every area of our lives. He had enemies – plenty of them. They lied about Him. They beat Him. They mocked Him. Eventually, they even killed Him. He loved them anyway. And if we believe in Him, it’s time to turn things “upside down” and “inside out”, and say to our enemies, “I love you. I would rather die than hate you.” When we live that way, we’ll find the strength to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, and to pray for those who spitefully use us. Let’s don’t get even with our enemies. Let’s ask God to bless them instead. If we can let go of our anger long enough to pray like this, we’ll discover an amazing benefit – we’ll be putting ourselves in a position TO BE blessed and loved!

John said in 1 John 4:7 “Let us love one another”. I like that. John included himself in that exhortation. He is telling us that everyone is called to love. And actions speak so much louder than words. It’s not enough to just say “I love you”. We really need to actually do it.
I don’t know which side of love/hate you live on, but as for me, I plan to do my best to err on the side of love. I know it will serve me well as I sow seeds of love everywhere I go. Maybe we should be love seed scatterers.