Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:38-6:4
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you,” Matthew 5:44.
Father God, cause your love to be shed abroad in our hearts. We all need love, and need to love one another according to your commandment. Father, sometimes we want to love but the spirit of retaliation hinders us. Sometimes we want to give, but the spirit of stinginess restrains us. Enable us, God of love, to love as we ought to, so that we will be your children indeed. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
How many times have we loved, even in the church, only to find our love abused, disregarded, or trampled on? We are often left hurting and angry at the people we once loved. Now they have become our enemies, enemies who have viciously attacked us. Beloved, do you know that peace is the choice weapon of warfare? You will be victorious with a peaceful attitude. In spite of our hurt, God calls us to abstain from retaliating. He calls us to actively love and give to others.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away,” Matthew 5:38–42.
According to these verses, retaliation is not a Christian attitude. If someone has wronged you and your inclination is to retaliate, you are out of order. It does not matter if they hurt you first. I pray in the name of Jesus that the love of God will be so strong in your life that you will not be comfortable retaliating: rather, you will continue to suffer for Jesus’ sake if escape is impossible.
God says that vengeance is His; it is God’s job to retaliate and bring about justice. It is far better for the God from whom justice originates to avenge you of your enemy than for you to attempt it. If you retaliate, you will only short-change yourself.
Many have discovered that obeying God’s Word in this regard has brought about great promotion and blessings beyond comprehension.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust,” Matthew 5:43–45.
The Word of God encourages us to love and pray for our enemies, even to bless and do good unto them. Do not withhold good because you perceive you would be blessing someone who hates you. Is it your job to determine who deserves to be blessed? Is anyone too sinful for the reach of God’s grace? The Word says, where sin abounds, grace abounds even more, Romans 5:20. As God’s children, we should minister God’s grace to all. Pray for those who despitefully use you. If you are being despitefully used today, God is giving you an assignment. Pray for those who use or persecute you. God will reward you for your obedience, and you will be a wonder in this generation to the glory of God!
This counsel in God’s Word is available to believers, those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. If you have not, pray with me now.
Father God, I pray that the attitude of retaliation will be extinguished in the lives of all your children. May we love our enemies in the name of Jesus. May we bless those who curse us, and receive your blessing.