Sandcastles - December 4, 2019
Updated: Dec 8, 2019
Walking through life can be hard enough. Expectations and decisions are constantly being thrown at us, and we are expected to react appropriately. The stress of it all becomes something incredibly different when difficult people are thrown into the mix. There are simply people that are hard to love; bosses, coworkers, classmates, and sometimes even family.
The culture we live in today is riddled with a retaliation mindset, we see videos and captions tearing people down. We have ‘call-out’ mentality, ‘@’ me next time, you’ll never believe what she did. Everyone we know and don’t know can see our location, actions, and reactions. How are our actions reflecting Jesus and what He did for us? Are we turning the other cheek and loving our neighbors and enemies, or are we putting down everyone around us? The ones that hurt us might not appear to deserve the love freely given to us, but we have to remember we didn’t deserve one ounce of it either.
A harsh truth that is very hard to swollen is that we used to be enemies of God, and rightfully so. We were sinful people, enemies of a perfect and holy God. Realizing how much we do not deserve the love and forgiveness poured out by the work of Jesus, it becomes easier to see our enemies in a way that Jesus would. Jesus took His love to the cross and then it became an overflow onto us.
The question now is, what are we going to do with our overflow?
How can we show love to them?
Jesus describes our enemies as people who try to hurt us, have harmful intentions, and those who persecute us. He also goes on and tells us what we should do in return, love, bless, do good towards them, and pray. These are actions that I freely do for my friends and family that I love dearly, it is not a typical response I have for those who hurt me.
According to Jesus, it should be.
Martin Luther King Jr. said this beautifully, “Another way that you love your enemy is this: When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. ... That’s the time you must not do it. That is the meaning of love.” When loving like this, we will seek to destroy the evil systems, not the people who get caught up in them.
We aren’t called to love “bad” people, we are called to love people like us. We need to love people who have been deceived by sin, caught up in the lie that we only need to live for our own fleshly desires. We know what life is like, why not share it with those who need it the absolute most. In Matthew 9:12, Jesus tells us it is not the well who need a doctor but the sick. Matthew 24:14 says that the good news will be proclaimed to the whole world. Let’s challenge ourselves and love all, especially our enemies.