This past week has been quite the eye-opening week for me. My semester has started off great so far but has had a few bumps. I’ve been struggling with some personal things and it hasn’t been easy. For the past 18 years of my life, there’s been some crazy drama. College was a fresh start for me. News flash: there’s still drama in college.
Not going into any details, but the main theme throughout this week has been forgiveness and Luke 6:27-36. Being the person I am, I strongly desire for everyone to get along and be jolly. Unfortunately, that’s not reality. Not everyone is going to like you, and you may not like everyone either. We are human in that way I guess. Just because we aren’t necessarily going to be best friends with everyone, doesn’t mean we should treat them as if we hate them or even dislike them. That just makes the situation worse. That has been my greatest struggle.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to despise each other. He died because He forgives us of all our sins so that we may forgive others. I’m pretty sure that’s found in Colossians somewhere. Forgiving people who have wronged you is incredibly difficult sometimes, depending on what they have done to you. When you think about it, how many times do we sin against God in one single day and yet He loves us enough to forgive us? Goodness, now that’s love. I hear so many different times about petty he-said she-said stuff all over and to be honest, it’s plain stupid.
Throughout what I have been experiencing lately, the passage in Luke has seriously been thrown into my face many times. I’m close to having it memorized because I’ve heard it and read it so much. I heard it when I spoke to a friend, when I was sitting in New Testament class, in my daily devotion the other day, and in church this morning. Now, if you don’t know what that passage of scripture says…
27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (NASB).”
This is a great benediction to live by if you ask me. Showing love is the best way to handle any situation no matter how hard it may be. It’s my goal to fall asleep each night knowing I did at least one act of love to someone I may not know or particularly get along with. I hope some of you reading can make it that your goal as well. The temptation will always be there to judge quickly and harshly when things don’t go your way. Before you act upon any temptation to retaliate, ask yourself, “What Would Jesus Do?” I have super glued that into my mind and it helps me out tremendously through my day. I have mended the friendships and relationships that were broken and I’m truly thankful those wounds are healed.
Thanks for reading, have a blessed week and show love to someone you normally wouldn’t. The results may surprise you in the end!
(Feature Image: http://harvardhumanist.org/2012/01/16/love-your-enemies-on-mlk-jr-humanism-and-pluralism/)