"You have been taught to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you this: love your enemies. Pray for those who torment you and persecute you— in so doing, you become children of your Father in heaven. He, after all, loves each of us—good and evil, kind and cruel. He causes the sun to rise and shine on evil and good alike. He causes the rain to water the fields of the righteous and the fields of the sinner. It is easy to love those who love you, even a tax collector can love those who love him. And it is easy to greet your friends, even outsiders do that! But you are called to something higher: “Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Today's thought from the Bible is concerning grace and love with no exception or limits. This type of love is like the love that God has for each of us, unconditional and merciful. As this verse states, it is easy for us to love people we know or the ones who already love us. The challenge for us is to love the ones who are difficult to love. Those who have hurt us or who just rub us the wrong way.
It's a tough thing to apply when the hurts are pretty deep or to love someone in our lives who we feel is undeserving of it. I have found though that when you foster peace and grace in your life that things resolve themselves easier. Plus you have less stress including things that result from stress, such as health issues. When you think about it, showing love and grace is the better option towards your enemy as you serve as an example. Which Christ asks us to be as His children. My favorite line from this verse is "But you are called to something higher" This serves as a reminder that each of us are a recipient of the grace and love of a wonderful God and thereby in turn we are called to be like Him and set apart for His service to others. By being an example of Him, we extend that love and grace that has been freely given to us to others and can be the difference in someone's life.
The world we live in today is very focused on the "me" factor, so it's an easy trap used by the Adversary to fall into. It's so easy to retaliate when hurt and pay back action for action. Further nurturing the seeds of contention and expanding the pain. The true test comes when we're hurting to stop and pray for the person causing us the pain and not retaliate. Choosing this route makes things easier to cope with plus we grow stronger in faith and in His grace. It also helps us be better people and peaceable people, which we are called to be. Remember, love always and be an example of His love. No exceptions.
"When the Lord brought the prisoners back to Jerusalem, it seemed as if we were dreaming. Then we were filled with laughter, and we sang happy songs. Then the other nations said, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are very glad. Lord, return our prisoners again, as you bring streams to the desert. Those who cry as they plant crops will sing at harvest time. Those who cry as they carry out the seeds will return singing and carrying bundles of grain."
Beautiful -- Mercy Me (on youtube)