What is your reaction when someone does something against you or persecutes you in someway? Do you react in love or do you want to get revenge? As Christians, Jesus calls us to a radical love. He calls us to love our enemies, he actually tells us we are to rejoice when people persecute us and do evil things to us.
Matthew 5:11-12 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The world we live in is so full of hate, we see people killing people, we see people choosing things over each other, we see people slander other people over the internet and we live in a country that is divided. How do you choose to love radically in these situations? I’m not talking about saying you love everyone or choosing not to do what other people do but I’m talking about going out of your way to show kindness to your enemy. That person that was rude to you over the internet, the person that hurt someone in your family. How do you go about going out of your way to show kindness to that person when in reality you don’t want to. You want to sit at home and want nothing to do with that person or sometimes if we are honest with ourselves we wish ill on that person. In these situations I think of Jesus himself. No one will do anything as bad to me as what I did to Jesus. Yet he chose to radically love me by going to the cross and dying. I spit in his face, I called him a liar, I told him I wanted nothing to do with Him. I cursed His name anything you can think of that is horrible to do to a person I did to Jesus. Yet he crossed that line and he loved me enough to take all of that sin on himself and died for me. He didn’t have to to do that, he could of let me go to Hell and rot in my sin but he chose to radically love me. It was hard for Jesus, he was beaten, he was whipped he was hung on a cross for multiple hours, but his love for me kept him there.
I think to radically love like Jesus calls us to is to remember we aren’t here for people we are here for Jesus. Jesus called us to love like he has loved. It would be easy for me to sit at home and sulk when something didn’t go my way or someone was mean to me, it would be easy to want to sit at home and be mad at the way my country is turning out. The easy life isn’t what Jesus called me to, his calling on our lives is to go and make disciples of all nations which is hard and it’s loving people when they don’t deserve it.
Luke 6:32- 35 32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil
If all we do is love those who love us we are no different than the people that are hurting us, we are no different than the world. We have to go out of our way to love people that are mean to us and who don’t love us. Then we are being like Jesus. We are called to love like Jesus loved. If you look at scripture the people that Jesus spent the most time with were people no one wanted anything to do with. He went out of his way to love on those people because everyone else chose to hate them, or to avoid them. Who are you spending your time with, the people that are easy to love or the people that you have to work on to love?
In a world that is choosing hate, that is choosing to discriminate, are you loving only those who love you and agree with you, or are you going out there getting your hands dirty and loving those who hate, and persecute you? Jesus chose to get his hands dirty when he chose to love you by dying on the cross. Are you going to radically love someone today even if it’s the hardest thing you have ever had to do, or you going to continually choose to let the world win? I think we as Christians could change the world if we would love like Jesus called us too. If we would really lay ourselves aside, stop living for ourselves and love like he has called us to love. My challenge to you today is to love that person that is difficult to love. Go out of your way to show someone kindness today, not because they deserve it but because Jesus showed you kindness when you didn’t deserve it. Love until it hurts!