Thursday, January 14, 2010

Love Versus Hate

Good Evening to All!

Today's Seed: " But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Matthew 5:44

At the end of the day, do you feel as if you've been in a battle? Surrounded by the enemy? At war with the world?

You probably have been. Our enemies are all around. From the driver who pulled out in front of you on the way home, then shook his fist at you as if you were the one at fault, to your boss who expects 200 percent from you and yet is stingy with praise. It enough to make you want to throw our morning bagel at your boss--cream cheese and all!

But what good would it do? None. It might even get you fired. when enemies are all around, remember Jesus' teaching: "Love your enemies.:" Bless them. Be thankful for them. Say, "I'm thankful for my boss" because it means I have a job. Say "I'm thankful for that terrible driver" because...well, just because.

Dig Deeper: The Greek word for "enemy" is chalepos. It means difficult, painful, grievous, and irksome. It means people who are hard to deal with, cruel, harsh, stern, and even dangerous.

Background Bulb: Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7 are a sermon called the Sermon on the Mount. It is the longest and fullest continued teaching from Jesus. When Jesus spoke on the mountain at Galilee, he commanded, "But I tell you, love your enemies." Take note. The word is "commanded." Not suggested. Not theorized. Jesus commanded us to love our enemies. It is our duty as Christians to love our enemies--no matter how mean they are to us and to others. We need to have compassion on them and speak well of them.

Weed & Water: In Matthew 10:28, Jesus says, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." We might not be afraid of an enemy we can handle, but loving them is impossible. There's no way to do it without God's help and power.

First, we have to want to love. Be honest with God about your feelings. Start today. Start small. Loving our enemies doesn't come naturally, although with God's help we can learn to live with them. Even if we don't see any good in them, God calls on us to love them anyway. Praying for our enemies can be one way to develop love for them.

Think about it: Why is it easier to turn against those who persecute us rather than to love them?

How can you show your love for the difficult people you have to deal with?

Prayer Pot: God, grant me your view of my enemies. I don't feel like loving them, but....

Take Away Idea: God causes the sun to rise on you and on your enemies. If God sees good in them, so can you.

I think this command is one of the hardest things which God asks us to do as far as our human nature. Even though I know His help is only as far aways as calling the name "Jesus", for some reason it unfortunately is the last thing on my mind when I am irritated, hurt, or downright angry with someone. I have never "hated" anyone, or wished them harm, but I have wished that God would pay them back for me. I've been known to think to myself , "you'll get your's! I may not be the one to do it, but what goes around comes around! Needless to say, I am still working onthis problem. and probably will for a very long time. I am getting better though, I have been able to catch these thoughts and get rid of them before dwelling on them. If I would just stop to think, and ask God to help me, I know He would. After all, isn't He the one who said Vengeance is
mine? Why then do I waste my energy thinking bad things about people.
My favorite saying was and still is "what goes around comes around." I really need to get that out of my thought process, and concentrate on my own flaws, and learn how to love my
enemies, with GOD'S HELP OF COURSE.

Good Night to All and May God Bless!

Love & Prayers,

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The Redhead Riter said...

This is very hard for me. "Love thy enemies" has to be one of the hardest things to do.

Anonymous said...

Excellent passage!!

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