Jesus says, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?" (Matthew 5:43-46)
This is the place where His love can be made manifest--where we lay down our "self-life" and trust Him to be our Avenger.
But how? How do we truly love those who do not show love to us? When that person at work wrongly represents you to your supervisors; when that friend betrays your every trust; when someone you love deeply does not return the sentiments; when emotions are raw and the pain is real, how do we love this day? The answer: we don't. We cannot. It must be Him loving through us!
Our job is to set our minds on things that are true, rather than run down those unstable streets of emotion. Things like:
- That person is not my enemy--I am in the midst of a spiritual war. (Ephesians 6)
- The weapons of my warfare are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds and casting down every high thing that exalts itself. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
- My offensive weapon is the Word of God--Truth trumps feelings. (Ephesians 6)
- God hears my prayers and sees my hurt; He is my Avenger. (All Psalms; Psalm 55, 65)
Jesus tells us that it is by our love that others will know that we are His disciples. Everything hangs on love. So, how goes your loving? How goes mine?
"Father, You desire to love others through me, that many may see Your glory. It is all about You. Use me to love those who persecute my soul. Bless them, Lord, with an abundance of Your presence. May they see Your great Holiness through my little life. For You alone are worthy!"
For further nourishment: 1 Corinthians 13