Posted by: yeajlee | October 16, 2009

Different – Mollye Reese

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”- Ephesians 4: 32

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” -Luke 6:27-36

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” -Ephesians 4:31-32, 5:1-2

I recently received an email from a friend of mine entitled “I’m so evil”. I was really encouraged by the honesty of her email as she shared some of the feelings she had in regards to some very difficult people (VDP) in her life. I’m sure many of you guys can relate. I know I can. We all have those VDP’s in our lives. I can name them if you asked me to and I’m sure you guys could too. Maybe they’re family members, extended family members, fellow church members, co-workers, roommates, classmates, certain friends, etc. These people may wrong you. They may know how to push all the right buttons and rub you the wrong way. They may be people who never apologize. They may be people who consistently mistreat you. They may be selfish people who only look out for themselves. They may be people who step on others to get ahead. They may be a combination of all these things.

With that said I’m reminded by these passages of what God calls us to. It seems impossible and so unnatural in our human flesh to love these types of people. It goes against everything our world tells us and against everything we instinctively know. To love your enemies? To do good to those people that hate you? To bless those who curse you? To pray for those who mistreat you? Throughout my christian life these particular verses have never been easy for me to swallow yet this is the high standard God has called us to as believers.

I love how these passages don’t command us to just live a certain way and leave it at that. After the verses speak of how we’re to respond it clearly gives the reason why afterwards (highlighted in bold). It’s because we’ve been shown mercy and forgiveness first. In view of everything that God has already done for us He is calling us now to respond in a similar manner to others. He wants us to be imitators of Him and to emulate what He is ultimately like through our lives. I’m reminded today there is no time when we look more like Christ and no message stronger than when we love, forgive and live in this way.

Response through song:

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