That One Thing: Loving Your Enemies

difficultI think most people have a problem with at least one or two scriptures that they wrestle with, even if they are Christians.  Jesus’s own disciples turned their backs on Him when they couldn’t handle His teachings:

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching.  Who can accept it?”  John 6:60

Jesus was a revolutionary of His time and He still is today.  I’m sure you know someone in your large network of acquaintances who cannot fathom the idea of the existence of hell or the concept of the narrow gate that leads to heaven.  Different scriptures hit certain nerves for various people because it’s the one area we are not willing to “give up.”

In the case of the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10:17-25, the young man was fired up because he had been following the commandments since childhood.  However, there was one thing he lacked, and when Jesus responded, He responded with love:

 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said.  “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”

Maybe for you, being generous and giving up your material possessions for the less fortunate is not a struggle for you.  But there’s always that “one thing” that probably tests your heart and challenges your obedience to God.  Is it the problem of evil in the world?  Is Christianity too narrow for you?

For me, it’s the command to love my enemies.  That is one of the top scriptures that challenge me to the core.  I normally don’t have much of a problem cutting difficult people out of my life (not sure if that’s a sign of unforgiveness or just self-preservation from toxic people).  There is one individual in particular that I just cannot stand.  It’s sad to say, but because she’s a family member, there is no way around it.  Ignoring or disowning her would be so un-Jesus-like!  Regarding her as “my enemy” is sad indeed, but that is how I feel.  Still, God calls us to obedience and if I call myself a Christian, I have to keep praying about it, keep fighting for my faith to draw closer to God, and not give up.  Everyone deserves to be loved, and Jesus especially loved the outcasts of society – women, lepers, the lame, the blind, the sick, the poor, the “sinners” and so on.

This challenges me to the core, but I know that as long as I have breath in my nostrils, I get another chance to repent and work on the condition of my heart.  I would not want to face Jesus and hear Him say, “One thing you lack….”

#forgive #ImitateJesus #love #norecordofwrongs #lovedifficultpeople #patience #endurance #musingz4life


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