I’ve just posted a very powerful testimony. Danielle struggled with many people in her life who treated her very badly. And that’s putting it lightly. People did things to her that I find hard to imagine.
I struggle with getting along with people at work. I often feel that my team teacher has it out for me, or that Joe Blow is spreading awful rumors about me. I then get this irresistible urge (well, almost irresistible) to put them (verbally) in their place. I ponder various situations in my mind, and I rehearse scenarios in which I back these scumbags into a corner, verbally assault them, and vindicate myself!
But when I hear a story like this, it reminds me what we, as Christians, are called to do. We’re called to follow the example of Jesus, our great God and Savior. He loved people unconditionally, even people He knew were going to kill Him. He calls us to give up everything for Him. Giving up everything also means giving up our hatred, our anger, our spite – all our ugly baggage. Being like Jesus doesn’t come easily or naturally. But being His servant means losing ourselves so that we can gain an eternity with Him.
26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:26-27 (ESV)
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.
30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
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.
36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
37 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:27-38 (ESV)