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February 2, 2018, 3:37 PM

Love Those Who Curse You


Unfortunately we live in a world where everyone doesn’t always get along.  Even Christians don’t always act like they ought.  It’s easy to respond in kind when someone treats us as if we are their enemy.  That is often the simple and most common natural reaction.  Matthew and Luke both quote Jesus saying that we should love our enemies and bless those who curse us.  Not only does He tell us what to do but He also shows us how to do it.  As Jesus is hanging on the cross, He pleads for the Father to forgive those who were hurling insults and spitting on Him.  Why? Because they didn’t fully understand what they were doing.  The most dangerous animal is one who is injured and backed into a corner.  A dog in this situation will even bite the hand extended in peace, love, and generosity because it is acting out of fear and pain.  Humans are not the same as animals but we can respond in similar manners.  Often we act out aggressively from a place of brokenness, pain, and fear.  We treat others as enemies when in reality they are not.  These actions are rooted in the flesh as described in Galatians 5 and stand in stark contrast of the fruit of the Spirit.  Paul cautions that we should be led by the Spirit and not the flesh because even those filled with the Spirit can experience times when the flesh dictates behavior.  The key is to remember that when people treat us as if we are their enemies, they are being led by the flesh and that should evoke feelings of mercy rather than anger.  They are merely acting from a place of pain and fear or other emotional damages.  The point of praying for an enemy is not that they would fall off the face of the Earth but that healing of brokenness would lead to reconciliation of relationships and the image of the Gospel would be apparent for all to see.  Two parties in positions of opposition being reconciled in love.  The only real enemy we have is Satan and he will do all he can to disrupt peace, love, and mercy among people, especially the children of God.  Love those who curse you, extend forgiveness even without it being asked for, and be a picture of the reconciliation of the Gospel. 

Robert


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