Matthew 5:43-48 You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Wooooww reading the following, I’m like help, Lord. I’m not sure if you’re anything like me, but when I read this scripture, my flesh cringed as I had to come to terms with the truth of God’s word. Our natural reaction to someone who does us wrong, who mistreats us, who curse us, gossip about and use us is to either desire to tell them off, tell them off or cut them off! Lol. Well, let me tell you I’m so used to cutting people off that I could’ve been called the cut off queen. Sometimes it’s necessary to disconnect from certain people-but realistically we cannot self-isolate and be a proverbial “island” all to ourselves. This is difficult for me because let’s say I’m pretty awkward in relationships. Due to past experiences and insecurities, I would instead retreat and disconnect rather than confront, deal with the issues, and move forward if possible. However, God has given us specific instructions on how to respond to those we would “consider enemies.” Let’s be reminded when we deal with others that we were once enemies of God but by the grace of God we are reconciled. Romans 5:10 “For, if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Let’s change our perspective and our vision. Let’s begin to look at people not as our enemies but as an opportunity to show the love of God just like Jesus has taught and continues to show us daily. While this is painful to the flesh, it is beneficial to our spirit. Let’s strive to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Let’s make a decision today to push past our feelings and flesh and put the word into practice.
Father, it’s in the name of Jesus that we come before you. Lord, we ask that you strengthen us with might in the inward man. Father help us be mindful of our shortcomings so that we can extend grace to others. Give us the wisdom to know when to disconnect and when it is necessary to grow through relationship. Father, we love you and are grateful for the sacrifice of your Son while we were yet your enemies. Cause us to see our “enemies” as an opportunity to show your love as we may be all the Christ that some people will ever see. We thank you for your love, grace, and mercy in Jesus’ name. Amen!