Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” NIV
My Bible study took me to the 6th book of Luke this morning. I almost skipped it altogether, but I know that this is a good lesson for me to read and dwell on. I’m not good with this at all, especially if my feelings are hurt. I like to keep score.
Recently, an event was held locally and it seemed the whole community was invited...except me. I remember driving by and seeing everyone and then being filled with hateful thoughts towards the holder of the event. It’s not that I had any desire to go, and I was working so, technically, I couldn’t go, it just hurt my feelings that I was so blatantly left out. I was filled with negativity the rest of the way home. Then it hit me. Why would anybody invite someone so full of hateful thoughts to a happy event? Whoa. Where did that come from? “Hey, Jesus. Yeah. You got me.”
None of us like to be left out. We all need to feel wanted and loved and accepted. We want to be made to feel special and valuable. That’s human nature. With the holidays coming up, I’m sure that there will be times when you, also, feel like you were left out or a relative says something that hurts your feelings. We live in a time of blended families.
There are exes and in-laws and out-laws and the list goes on and on. Somewhere in the family, we will have “enemies”. Remember the talk about setting the tone for our household? This will be a powerful time to demonstrate this principal. Better yet, remember that to someone, YOU are the enemy. Now, that’s kind of funny to me, because who doesn’t like us, right? Honestly, sometimes, I don’t even like me, so I certainly can’t live in such a fantasy world to expect everyone else to like me, too.
The deal is that we have to forgive and move forward. We all know people who remember mistakes people made 20 years ago and will bring them up the moment things get tense. I think those people are called wives.
I have to learn the value of letting go of past hurts and showing grace. This morning, I resisted doing the very thing God asked me to do.
“Hey, God. I guess it’s time to show grace again. I wasn’t really through being mad, but You have shown me this morning that I’m not in Your will if I am still thinking about my poor little hurt feelings. I’m sorry, God. Thank you for not keeping score. Thank you for your grace. Help me to, in turn, show grace to others.”