“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” – Romans 12: 14
Mark Twain famously said, “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
Like the verse above from Romans 12 about blessing those who persecute you, or Jesus teaching about loving not only you neighbor, but also loving your enemy (Matthew 5: 43-44), some parts of the bible, I think I understand, and they really convict me to my core.
Loving those who love you is hard enough, but for the followers of Jesus it’s not enough. We are commanded to love those who persecute us, our enemies.
Today, well, every day, I’m challenged to love those folks that just don’t like me. My big brother taught me something years ago. He said, “Trust me, there are plenty of people who have had good reasons to not like you, but there are also those persons who don’t like you, well, just because they don’t like you.”
It’s hard for us to understand most of us to understand that some people aren’t going to like us “just because”.
Although it doesn’t seem to matter to Paul, as the author of Romans, or to Jesus about the “why” someone doesn’t like us, or even “why” we might not like them – whatever the reason – we are called and commanded to love and bless our enemies anyway.
I guess Twain was right, it’s not the parts of the bible I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.
My challenge every day, and my challenge to you today, is to love your enemies and bless those who persecute you.
So who is The Spirit prodding you to love today? Which persecutor or enemy?
Prayer: Lord, loving is hard and makes us vulnerable, yet you call us to love not only our neighbor, but even our enemies and those who would persecute us. Give us the strength and wisdom to do it. Amen.