Jesus sets the bar pretty high

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6:27

Changing the punctuation at the end of the sentence better indicates my reaction these words: Love my enemies? Do good to those who hate me? Bless those who curse me? Pray for those who abuse me? What? Are you kidding me? How am I supposed to and why would I want to pull this off?

Such an attitude and its subsequent behavior is easier to accomplish if we keep in mind that God equally loves you and your enemy. God’s mercy is equally offered to you and the one who curses you. Begin by remembering how God’s mercy sought you and made you new in Christ, that same mercy pursues the one who caused you harm. I don’t know the abuse you’ve suffered, but God does. If you can, picture yourself and your abuser standing under the umbrella of God’s grace. You are a child of the Most High; God, your Father, will teach you how to be as kind to others as God has been to you.

And it’s easier to “give to everyone who begs from you” and to “not withhold your shirt from the one who has taken your coat” (Luke 6:29,30) if you ask yourself this question: “Would I give this dollar to Jesus? If Jesus were cold, would I give him this hat?” Of course you would. Picture his face in the needy ones who beg.

Each morning, as you take your shower or bath, picture the love and mercy of God pouring onto you, cleansing you, hydrating and renewing you. Go forth into your day remembering how much God has forgiven you. Offer such love to the ones who least expect it from you, your enemies, haters, cursers, abusers. Show them the mercy God has shown you. Remember, it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance. (Rom 2:4) Your doing unto others as you would have them do unto you will lead to a changing world. Amen.

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