Love your enemies and pray for them. – Matthew 5:44, NIV
News flash: Angry rioters breach the United States Capitol threatening lives and damaging property.
As many watched this live on TV, there was shock and disbelief that this kind of violence was occurring in our country. Spectator’s blood boiled. For most, the first reaction was the desire to see the offenders caught, prosecuted, and condemned to long jail sentences. The mantra became, “Give them what they deserve for the infractions they performed to the country we love.”
Oh, really? Where’s the LOVE? Reading Matthew, chapter 5, can bring many to their knees as they seek forgiveness for their reactions. Yes, emotions caused people to be upset, but I challenge you to read in God’s WORD, what Jesus meant by, “Love your enemies?” It is written in Leviticus 19:18 to love your neighbor as yourself. Does that instill a conflict between neighbor and enemy or is it an extension of what God’s love is all about?
How should we act or react when seeming wrongs are directed at us or our belief systems? Attacks are directed at us for whatever reasons or causes. These will continue as part of life as long as we are on this earth. COVID19 has brought this to light as we witness strife in homes due to being in unusual quarantine restrictions. Family roles become confusing and stress builds over being “out of control” with our circumstances.
The “love” taught by Jesus is not the emotional or affection type, but rather the kind that is focused on ACTION. God’s standards are higher than ours and He commands us to show true love – yes even to our enemies – by our deeds. This means, not talking about love, but showing love by what we DO. For example, participating in care for others, getting involved in programs that assist those who may not be as fortunate as we are, going outside our comfort zone to serve others even when they have treated us badly or committed acts that are against our beliefs.
That folks is Love Your Neighbor in ACTION! You CAN make a difference by doing it!
-Terry Miller has over 30 years of banking and training experience with major banking institutions.12+ years as owner/principal of Terry Miller & Associates – a training and development firm. He spent 8 years as director of Pastoral Care with Waxahachie Bible Church. Terry is currently semi-retired. Continuing with self-employment directing Terry Miller & Associates, a consulting firm conducting speaking and training engagements, in addition to authoring and publishing 4 books.