Posted by: mikenicholsblog | April 11, 2010

why not?

Along your journey, have you ever said about another person, “I know God wants me to love him/her, but I just don’t like them!”? The truth is that all of us have people around us who are hard to like.  People who often wound us, and easily anger us. Good “Christian speak,” says love your enemies and forgive them. “Christian reality” finds this to be extremely hard to do. So what’s the answer?

Luke 6:27-28 (NIV)
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Luke 6:27-28 (MSG)
“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: 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 for that person.”

Communicating from the Sermon on the Mount, Christ gives the answer. He gave concise, simple instructions, leaving no doubt about our responsibility. He told us to love our enemies and to do good to people who hate us. But our first response is, do I have the capacity to love enemies and to do good to someone who hates me? And if the sixth word in that previous sentence is our guide, I would suggest the answer is a pretty clear “No”. God would not ask us to do the impossible without providing a help, however, so where do we turn. No further than Christ and how he responded, would be the perfect start. Seek out the details of His earthly life, and you will get an up close and personal view of true love, forgiveness, and caring in the face of opposition and hatred. It’s an unbelievably high bar, but God has given us his Spirit in living out the example that Jesus provided.  Don’t ask yourself, “Do I have the capacity…?”. Call on the Spirit, and show the world the power of truly loving your enemy.

Furthermore, we are told to bless those who curse us, and pray for people who mistreat us. A more typical response for us is to bless them out, and pray God’s wrath on them (just being honest). But take a really close look at what Christ did on the cross. In his darkest hour, as He obediently absorbed the full power of evil and sin, He prayed for the ones that put Him there. He died for the ones who put Him there. He died for all of us.

But it’s Monday, and you’re still thinking to yourself that you don’t like that person. Is it possible that your sacrificial willingness to love, pray and bless that enemy could be used to soften a heart, change a life, and affect eternity? If we know Christ did it, He commands it, and we have the Spirit as our perfectly capable help, we are only left with one question, “Why not?”

Think about that, and remember for all those times your answered, “Because, I can’t”, or “I just won’t” …


Responses

  1. extremely difficult to do…. only through Him is it possible…. though i know this, why do i fail at it so many times (that pesky devil)?


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