We have all been around that one person who verbally attacks us with their words or berates us for no reason. Perhaps you work with someone like that or even live with someone like that. Maybe the cruel words are subtly spoken after church as you mingle with others you would consider to be friends. Malicious people will always be with us. Instead of worrying how to best avoid them or thinking of ways to reciprocate their unkind actions, we are to respond in a loving manner, as Christ would.
But why do we need to make this a habit, despite the fact that these individuals don’t deserve our mercy? Jesus mentions that God treats ungrateful and evil people with kindness. Loving one’s enemy is tough, but Jesus gives us practical ways to do so. He tells us to be good to them, and to respond with calmness towards them. Then pray for them. It doesn’t matter if we don’t feel like it. The more we pray for that individual, the more our initial feelings of bitterness or anger will disappear.
And who are these people exactly? They are just like you and me — people who were once categorized as ungrateful and evil until God washed our sins away. We used to be hostile to God, but he changed us. And if he can change us, he can change them. We must always keep that thought at the forefront of our minds.
Dear Lord, please give me a soft and tender heart towards those who are against me. Give me the strength to care for them as you do. Amen.
Go Deeper — Think of people you dislike. Make a list and begin to pray for them on a daily basis, asking God to give you a loving heart towards these people. Watch how the Lord changes your heart!
Read Further — Here are five steps to loving someone you don’t like. One of our mentors would be happy to walk with you through this process and pray for you. Just fill in the form below to talk with one today.
Photo Credit: Bruno van der Kraan