The Person You Don't Like
We’ve all come across people in life that rub us the wrong way. Sometimes when you don’t see their face, it’s easier to “hate” them. A good example might have been while you were on the way to work this morning when that “idiot” or “jerk” cut you off in traffic. Maybe you used a different word instead. But you get the picture.
In the world of business we may have competitors that we are trying to market against. Perhaps it’s a big business versus small business concept. Or maybe it happens in your family. Maybe you’re trying to win the love of your parents as the good son or daughter while the other sibling always seems to rise to the top in all occasions.
Maybe you have a literal enemy who pushed you down, kicked you, spit on you, and then poured salt into the wounds. We’ve all had those moments when rage rises within and we’d like to “give that person a piece of our mind."
Jesus is the supreme example on way should react to our enemies. In fact, Jesus is the supreme example in all things.
In Matthew 5:43-45 it says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Jesus not only says these amazing and powerful words, but he then goes on to put them into practice while hanging on the cross, bleeding out for the sins of the world.
The Roman soldiers, at the command of their governmental leaders, spiritual leaders, popular opinion, and sway of the culture beat the son of God to his near death. Many of us know the Gospel story, we’ve seen the Passion of the Christ, we’ve heard the Easter sermon, and we can tell it better than our local Pastor. Yet, we often miss the whole point of what put Jesus there on the cross in the first place.
It wasn’t any of those things that put Jesus on the cross. It was love for you that put Him there. It was love for me that put Him there. It was God’s love for humans that have often looked more like back-stabbing enemies than friends, that put Him there. I put Him there. I put Him there every time I hated an enemy instead of forgiving them.
After all of the excruciating turmoil he went through he winces out the words, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Father, forgive me, I don’t know what I’m doing.
Remember that Jesus died for everyone. You’re not any better than the person who stole your glory, money, idea, family, life, and freedom. Your responsibility isn’t hate, it’s to love them. It’s to forgive them. It’s to turn the other cheek.
FATHER, FORGIVE ME, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING.
God is pretty good at turning enemies into his instruments of glory. We know the great Paul the Apostle from the word of God. His teachings are taught in pulpits across the world every week. Yet, he looked at lot more like ISIS before the power of praying Christians across the region caused heaven to respond with the famous” Saul to Paul encounter out of Heaven” (Acts 9). PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU. PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES. FORGIVE YOUR ENEMIES.
Father, forgive me, I don’t know what I’m doing!
Jesus died for the person you don’t like.
Evangelist Caleb Wampler
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