Posted by: Bob Clark | November 28, 2007

Self-Awareness: Love Your Enemies

Be honest, who are your enemies?

An ex-husband or ex-wife who bad mouths you to the children?
A sibling makes your life difficult?
An in-law who refuses to accept you?
A ministry rival?
A co-worker who mocks your faith?
A neighbor who takes advantage of you?

Be honest, how do you treat them?

Have you withheld love?
Have you built up resentment?
Have you harbored anger?
Have you constructed walls between you?
Have you spread negative information about them?
Have you painted them in a bad light?
Have you passive-aggressively retaliated?
Have you disengaged from them?

Be honest, have you demonstrated the Christian way?

Have you prayed for them?
Have you blessed them?
Have you expressed your love to them?
Have you forgiven them?
Have you looked for something good in them?
Have you been Jesus to them?
Have you seen Jesus in them?

As we seek honest self-awareness, may God’s word speak to our hearts.

Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Romans 12:14-21
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary:

‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

A prayer for godliness.

God our Father in heaven,

Your love amazes us.
We stand in awe at how You pursue us even when we are set against You.
With mercy You spare us from what we deserve.
With grace You pour our blessings we do not deserve.
You treat us so much better than we deserve.

May we reflect You, O God.
In our thoughts.
In our words.
In our actions.
May we do as You have done.
May we forgive as You have forgiven.
May we be gracious as You have been gracious.
May we bless those who curse as You have done.
Teach us forgiveness, joy, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and humility.

Your love amazes us. Help us reflect it.
In Jesus’ name,
AMEN.

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