If someone loves you, you love them back, right? Right. If someone hates your guts, you hate them right back, right? Wrong! Love them right to their guts. No, that is not what our instincts tell us to do, but it is what God would have us to do. This brings us to our key text coming out of Matthew 5:43 — 48 (KJV). The word of the Lord reads:
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy . 44 But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
At this point in the scriptures the disciple Matthew is chronicling the life of Jesus here on earth, and Jesus is currently addressing a crowd that has gathered to hear His teachings. In modern words, He tells them, “Yeah, I know you heard that you should love those who are good to you, and hate those who mistreat you, but I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.” Why is this? God asks us to love others as He loves us. Even when we do God wrong by neglecting to put Him first, He does not throw a fit and say, “Well see if you wake up in the morning?!” God still blesses us to see the passing days. Even when we tell lies or covet our neighbor’s wealth, God doesn’t say, “Okay, fine. Don’t go looking for your check to come in the mail, because a little birdie told your boss to fire you.” If God can continue to love us despite how we often mistreat Him, we can do that for others. Remember, you don’t have to be your enemy’s best friend to still love them with the love of Christ.
Have a blessed day!
Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.