Belt of Truth
Knowing and Applying God's Truth to Real Life
Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
What truth is revealed? This truth rails against the nature of our flesh and truly makes Christians into a peculiar people. The expectation that Believers in Christ will love their enemies is simply not normal; However, those who love their enemies are (in that moment) walking in the perfection of the Father. As Romans 5:8 declares, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What is the command, wisdom or promise? This is a command for the followers of Jesus. It is clear and does not make any exceptions to the rule. Jesus commanded us to “love your enemies.”
What does this mean to/for me? This is a challenging concept for me. It doesn’t allow any wiggle room for my usual passive aggressive behavior. It calls me to a higher standard of personal conduct. Please notice, Jesus did not call us to inactivity in our effort to love our enemies. We are to “bless,” “do good,” and “pray” for our adversaries.
What action can/should I take? Enemies are the people who are close enough to me to rub me the wrong way. They are near and present. I must make a good will effort to love them with the love of the Lord and to actively befriend them.
As revealed by God through the Life and Message of Christ; through the wisdom of Solomon; through the letters of the Apostles; through the inspiration of God.