Enemies, Adversaries, Irritating Idiots? A Blessing? Are you sure?

 

Matthew 5:43-47 (MSG) 43 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ 44 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, 45 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. 46 If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. 47 If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. 

“Think of the good that has been done you throughout your lifetime by those who have injured or attempted to injure you. Others call such people their enemies. You should imitate the saints, at least in this. You are nothing so special that you should have enemies; so call them “benefactors”. Pray to God for them: as a result, you will come to like them”  (1)

As I feel a need to write this blog, I am also a bit wary of it.  Simply put, many of my blogs – almost all of them, are written based in personal reflection and need.

As I sit in my office this morning, haven’t had to deal with any of those people mentioned in the title.  So maybe this blog is for you, and not me?

Even so, if James is right about trials and trauma being beneficial to us, then it logically can be stated that those who are the cause of some of those trials and traumas are likewise blessings and not curses.  That we can view the lesson they teach us, as a gift from God, and rather than get more and more frustrated, we can give thanks and praise for their being in our lives.

What lesson? 

Well – were are you going to find the strength to rise above your own sinful nature and love them – as Jesus asks you to?  How are you going to find the focus to pray for them, not that God would change their habits, or their ability to just tick you off, but instead that God would richly bless them, and reveal His love to them?

There is the lesson…

They aren’t your cross, they simply drive you to it. They are a reminder that you aren’t God, that you can’t walk alone in this world, that you cannot conjure up this transformation in your own soul, in your own heart – on you own.

You need Jesus love, you need the power of the Holy Spirit, you have to know that you dwell in the presence of God – and assured of His presence, His mercy shown to you – then you can love them, then you can pray for their best, then you will realize the blessing that they are…. and give thanks for them.

Pray for me, even as I know within the next month, I will need to come back and remember these words..

Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2859-2863). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on February 23, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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