We all know who “them” are! We all have “them” in our lives – whether we want them there or not! No, I’m not talking about your in-laws, they are our enemies.
They are the people who cures us, persecute us and when it comes right down to it – they hate us!
This past Sunday in our children’s ministry, I talked to the kids about Matthew 5:43-44:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
We played a game called “Name that Villain” and I had different Disney characters that had a villain or enemy that they were facing. In each and everyone of the movies, the villain did not like the main character at all.
- Scar (The Lion King) tried to kill Symba
- Jafar (Alladin) tried to get rid of Alladin so he could marry the princess and take over the kingdom
- Lotso (Toy Story 3) tried to keep Woody and Buzzlighter (and the gang) in the room where they were treated bad by the small children
- Cruella D Vil (101 Dalmations) simply wanted to turn the little puppies into a fur coat
So, who is your Scar, your Jafar, Lotso or even your Cruella D Vil? Who is that person that just gets under your skin because of the way they treat you. Who is that person that is always rude to you and you just want to make a fist and deposit it into their face?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5, that we are to love our enemies and then pray for them!
WHAT? I can hear the excuses that are coming out of my head as I write this, “but Jesus, you just don’t understand what this person has done to me”; “there is no way in the world that I could pray for them, much less love them”; or “not even Jesus could love this person!”.
Jesus did not give us a list of qualifications for us to look at in order for us to see if we should love our enemies or not. He did not write out and say, “Well, if this person treated you THAT way, then you don’t have to love or pray for them”. No, Jesus simply said for us to LOVE OUR ENEMIES AND PRAY FOR THEM!
Warren Wiersbe points out three things in the following verses:
- This love is a mark of our maturity – it proves if we are “sons and daughters of the Father” (v.45)
- It is Godlike (Romans 5:10) God loved us when we were his enemies
- It is a testimony to others – as Christians, God expects us to live on a much higher plane than the lost of this world
So, can you see your “them” in your head? The next time you run into them, love them. The next time they persecute you or curse at you, love them. The next time they treat you bad or make fun of you, love them.
Love them and pray for them, that is what God did for you because he wanted to see you as His child.
HE LOVED YOU!