This is my post from yesterday over at the Isaiah 53:5 Project.
Seen on a Church Sign
Lettuce Be Kind- Let us be kind
Love Your Enemies
Luke 6: 27-38
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Blogging is all about the interaction; it is all about reading what others have to say, encouraging them, and sharing our thoughts with them and others about what has been written. Sometimes folks just have some real wisdom to share, that ptobably belongs in a blog post by itself. One of my God’s Garden posts really got some great comments the other day, and I want to share them for today’s post.
Israel Ashworth had some great thoughts about how being kind to our enemies is actually not just good for them, but is good for us as well!
“Difficult yes, but the rewards for talking it out in a peaceful way is Awesome for our health. Because we won’t be harboring wrong thoughts it will all be out on the table in Love. Yes I am speaking from experience. Yes its still hard. The Love of Jesus is powerful. “
Jan, a new commenter on my blog pointed out just who our enemies are and are not:
“It’s easy to look at the person and forget we wage war not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces that set up strongholds in our hearts and hold us captive just as they lie, kill and destroy lives of all unbelievers. Jesus prayed for those executing Him on the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Until we clearly see we are the forgiven, the set free, the blinded lost we will always stumble over Jesus’ teaching to love our enemies. The best get even and retribution we can have is to love our enemies into the Kingdom of love and light. This is God’s battle strategy and greatest”
Patrick Hawthorne, who has a real knack for telling it like it is, had the following to say:
“Sometimes, when someone is being overly harsh for no apparent reason, it is good to take a step back and ask the Lord what is going on instead of reacting. It might just be that the person we are dealing with is under the influence of a controlling spirit (no I don’t mean possessed, but influenced). If that is the case, we simply rebuke that spirit and carry on with our merry way.
On the other hand, some people are down right mean, period. Those are the ones that makes it hard to play nicey, nice… grrr.”
We continued on, and I asked for fun, if there was ever a time when a less than kind response to an enemy might be appropriate and the thoughts were equally…though provoking.
“The Lord says to speak the truth in love. It is the law that put us to death but we died to the law so that we might live in Christ. Jesus did not come to judge or condemn but that the world through Him might be saved. Paul says he did not come preaching lofty words of wisdom but only Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Can we disagree without being disagreeable? We are told to be slow to speak, slow to anger, we quick to listen because the anger of God does not achieve the righteousness of man.
When we get a belly full of the lies of Satan we need to come armed with a heaping dose of humility and the power of the Holy Spirit along with the covering of the blood of Jesus.
Be still, the Lord says, and know I am God. The arm of flesh will fail us we dare not trust our own. Every battle is spiritual. What do I know about the needs, motivations, weaknesses, soft underbelly of the person Satan has taken captive? God knows and if I have ears to hear He will give me what to say. How to say it. When to say it. Until then I am like the children of Israel who charged into battle carrying the ark as a good luck charm and were devestated by the Philistines because they had a belly for the battle but none for hearing God. Hope that helped. Just some thoughts.”
Then Patrick chimed in with his usual directness:
“hmmm…My thoughts are to first make a whip out of horse hair before you begin the tipping process.
Christian’s often confuse kindness with being passive. Jesus operated in the gift of prophecy (among others) which means to edify, exhort, and comfort. Sometimes, a swift kick to the hind side to wake people up is the only route available to achieving edification, exhortation, and comforting.
Edify – Instruct so as to improve
Exhort – urge earnestly; strongly
comfort – Provide salve to numb the previous edifying and exhortation to your back side. :)”
Those are great thoughts and all I can say is, thanks for writing this post friends!