“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour (fellow man) and hate your enemy.”
Memory Verse: Matthew 5: 43 – “ You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour (fellow man) and hate your enemy.”
The Word for Today devotional by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) says
When people mistreat you, Jesus makes clear how you should respond. ‘Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” Is that going to get us anywhere?
Here is what I propose: “Don’t hit back at all.” If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
You are familiar with the old written law, “Love your friend,” and its unwritten companion, “ Hate your enemy .” I am challenging that.
I am telling you to 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 then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.
This is what God does. He gives his best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone, regardless: the good and the bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?
Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I am saying is, grow up. You are kingdom subjects. Now live like it.
Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you’ (vv. 38-48 MSG).
Bottom line: Respond in a Christlike way.
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