But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. — Matthew 5:44
Do you know someone who is hard to love?
Maybe it’s someone who has a different personality or a friend who did something or said something that was hurtful to you. How do you treat this person?
Sometimes we like to get even. If people hurt us, we might want to hurt them back. Or we can be tempted to just end a friendship. To stay away from someone or say things behind someone’s back. But Jesus teaches us a different way — a better way.
Jesus taught that love is powerful. Love can melt someone’s hard heart. It can change someone’s attitude. Love can overcome evil. It’s easy to love those who love us but far more powerful and beautiful to love the unlovable.
We can pray for someone who has hurt us. We can do good to someone even if he or she has wronged us. We can respond with kind words. We can bless someone by loving him or her when the person doesn’t deserve it.
This kind of love is not only powerful; it’s possible! How? Because this is exactly how God has loved us. Jesus says to “be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). And this love of God lives in us.
Treat others the way you want to be treated (Luke 6:31). How do you want to be treated by someone else? How do you like someone to talk to you? Jesus told us the best way to treat others, including our enemies, is the way we want to be treated!
Following Jesus is about trusting what He says. It’s about believing God’s way of living is far better than our way of living!
How will you love someone who is hard to love? Resist the temptation to get back at others. Instead, pray for them. Pray for your own heart. Pray that Jesus would help you love others the way He has loved you.
LET’S DISCUSS TOGETHER
- What are ways that people try to get even?
- How can love change someone’s heart?
- In what ways has God treated us better than we deserve?
LET’S PRAY TOGETHER
Lord, teach us to love and forgive those who mistreat us. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit so we can do good, be prayerful, and bless others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
For Further Study: Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-36
Excerpted with permission from Faith Forward Family Devotional by Ruth & Patrick Schwenk, copyright Patrick Schwenk and Ruth Schwenk.
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Forgiveness isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially with those who are difficult to love! Those who hurt us may not even be apologetic for their actions. But, we can still grant them forgiveness for our own sake and extend kindness to honor the Lord. Who are you praying for? Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you about choosing love! ~ Devotionals Daily