Jesus, the Master Teacher, instructs us about patience in relationships with problem people, even people He labels as “enemies.” He tells us to love our enemies, even when we’re insulted. He then explains how to do just that: Pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).
What is your natural tendency when you are insulted or treated badly? It’s easy to react and treat the offender in exactly the same way you are treated. But that kind of response makes your conduct as wrong as your offender’s. That is sin upon sin, creating two wrongs.
As Christians we are not to return evil for evil, but to give a blessing instead. What Jesus wants from us is a godly response. He wants us to respond, not with a fleshly response, but to give a blessing and pray.
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you.
Instead, pay them back with a blessing.
That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
(1 Peter 3:9)
This is exactly what Jesus did when He prayed for His killers while dying on the very cross they had nailed Him to. Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).
This scene from the life of our suffering Savior is too sacred to leave without responding from the depths of our soul! If we really want to be like Jesus, we have to ask ourselves a hard question. Are we willing to do what we have to do to love our enemies?
In Putting On a Gentle and Quiet Spirit, Elizabeth George takes you through a thought-provoking study of Peter’s teachings on handling trials and persecutions, including:
- Suffering for doing good.
- Understanding the mysteries of God.
- Fanning the flame of faith.