Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?
—Matthew 5:44,46,47 (NIV)
My friend, Beverly, has written two books about carrying Jesus’ tears to those who are starved for His love. Often lashing out in bitterness and rage, some people don’t even know they are starved for His love. Isolating themselves in their pain, they only barely exist, instead of living fulfilling lives. Perhaps, they have decided that you are their enemy. The question is—have you allowed them to become yours?
If you have allowed their anger and bitterness, when it is aimed at you, to anger you in return, then they have succeeded. If you have allowed them to frustrate and belittle you—if their actions have controlled your response, then they have succeeded in destroying your peace and joy. Loving your enemies is not just for the benefit of your enemies. It is for your benefit.
Pray for those who persecute you! It is hard to be angry at someone you pray for. If you love only those who love you, then what good comes from that? Even unethical people love those who love them. If you are kind to only your friends, then how are you any different?
You are different because you are called to carry the tears of the Master. You cannot change anyone’s heart. Only He can. Perhaps you have tried to reach out, and you have been refused. Then you have been refused. The love of Jesus overcomes. Not you. Just live His forgiveness, and don’t allow someone else’s anger and bitterness to control your life and your response. Joy and peace thrive in you when you grasp that carrying His tears is never a burden, but always a gift. A gift that, just like prayer, changes you.
© 2018 Lynn Lacher