If you hang around young people at all, I promise that you will hear these words. It will be in response to something they feel like is just hard to believe. There is no way what your telling me is right, or I can’t believe you want me to do that. Not only do I hear this with the group of students where I pastor, but I have four kids from age of 8 to 17…I assure you, I hear one of these three questions on a daily basis. I’m sure you know what this looks like. They slightly turn their head, one eyebrow is raised, their mouth looks like the late Elvis saying, Thank you, thank you very much, and they say…”Really”? “Seriously”? “Are you kidding me”???
After thinking about those three questions, I’ve actually found a scripture in the Bible where they fit. It’s found in Matthew 5:45. Jesus says something so unbelievable, you would have to respond with these questions.
Matthew 5:44 (KJV)
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, (Really?), bless them that curse you, (Seriously?), do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Are You Kidding Me?)
When you start thinking about your enemies, or the ones that hate you, despitefully use you and persecute you, the last thing you want to do is love, bless and pray for them. Why do you think Jesus would put this burden on us? It goes against everything inside of me, especially after being hurt by someone on purpose. You see, Jesus wants us to be like Him. He wants us to grow in His image and become more like Him in everything we do. If you desire to be like Him, let me assure you, there is nothing you can do that is more like Jesus than to love your enemies. He was stripped, beaten and nailed to a cross by His enemies, but right before He died He prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”.
You’ll never have to face an actual cross, however, you will feel the wrath and cruel intentions of an enemy. You’ll know what it’s like for someone to be working behind your back to cause you pain and grief. Your human reaction will be to fight back and not take what they’re doing to you sitting down. You can choose to retaliate if you so desire, but if you want to be like Jesus, LOVE THEM, BLESS THEM AND PRAY FOR THEM. Determine in your heart today, to be more like Jesus and not like them. Don’t allow their actions to be yours too. I would much rather be like Jesus than to be like my enemy.