Matthew 5:43-44 — “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
A visual in true love is one we witness being enacted in our Churches on Good Friday every year – Jesus kneeling before His disciples and washing their dusty feet. He knew His most difficult hour was coming soon and that these guys would abandon Him. But still He demonstrated love. The most amazing part? He treated Judas the same as everyone else even though He knew he would betray Him in a matter of hours.
Jesus is our ultimate example, right? That means we’re called to behave as He did. Even when it hurts. Even when we want to defend ourselves. Even when we desperately want to jab back and give the offender a taste of his own medicine. But because Christ behaved differently, so should we. I like to think of it as choosing the high road.
So when someone hurts us, how can we exemplify Christ to that person? How can we wash his feet, so to speak?
We can do something as simple as smile at him whenever we see him in passing. We might say hello. Depending on the circumstances, we can even offer practical acts of service. However the most important thing we can do is pray.
Demonstrating love doesn’t guarantee a change in the offender’s attitude or behavior toward us, but that’s not our motivation. Neither is it our responsibility. Only God can change a heart.
Our single motivation for demonstrating love is to bring a smile to God’s face. That’s what we do when we do what’s right, and doing what’s right is how we can say thanks for His loving us when we least deserved it.
When we walk in love in the face of hurt and rejection, heaven backs us up, because now we are truly behaving like the “ambassador of Christ”. We may not get a chance to preach the Word of God, we may not get a chance to do many great things but definitely we will get a chance to love people who hurt us – this is your chance to practise God’s Word.
I CAN’T MAKE YOU LOVE ME, BUT YOU CAN’T KEEP ME FROM LOVING YOU.