But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; – Matthew 5:44
This is one of those Bible verses that you are probably all too familiar with if you’re a Christian or grew up in church. It is definitely one of the very hardest to actually live out though!
Many times figuring out how to change a Bible verse from something that sounds great on paper into something that is actually liveable is extremely hard to do.
And this is one of those tricky verses–Jesus taught it and lived it-but he also spoke the truth without mincing it–especially to people like the scribes and pharisees. Lately I’ve been pondering this verse and wondering what it looks like in today’s world.
As we were studying this passage for my Bible study I had a situation happen that I felt portrayed it pretty well. As you might know I live in Boston, MA and the driving up here is crazy.
I mean–seriously crazy. People from the area tried to warn me before we moved here. My reply, “Oh I lived in DC for 2 years–I’m used to big city traffic.” The traffic yes–but it wasn’t till I moved up here and discovered the super skinny roads, the roundabouts, the crazy one way streets on top of the high volume traffic that I really “got it”.
To leave our complex to get anywhere you have to hop onto either the interstate or the highway–both of which are crazy. One day I was trying to get to the interstate exit which is a move requiring great finesse. I signaled that I needed to get over and the van blocking me slowed down. I pulled in front of them, gave the “courtesy wave”–and then saw them “waving” back–but with only one finger and a few other “lovely” gestures.
My first response was to feel absolutely livid. I’m one of those people who gets horribly upset for days when I even imagine that someone is mad at me–I hate being disliked.
Then this Bible verse popped into my head.
So I prayed for that person. It went something like this, “God–I have no idea why that person is being so mean–but clearly they need you. Something has happened to turn them into an angry and bitter person and I pray that you would work in their life and their heart. I feel sorry for them but am giving it to you because it’s not my problem.”
And poof–not only did the anger and upset go away but I felt blessed and smiling as well!
So try it for yourself–next time some stranger (or person you know!) does something just plain mean-stop and pray for them, bless them, and do good to them. It’s amazing how practical and helpful it really is!
Copyright © Nicole Elliott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved