"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lent - Day 35

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

Do you have a close circle of friends? You know the ones that you can laugh with, cry with, argue with and who know you better than almost anyone else? These are the folks you can just be yourself around and they just sorta understand your craziness? People that you spend a lot of time with and learn and grow with? Have you ever had one of those close friends turn on you?
Jesus had a group that he traveled with, lived with and shared his life. We know them as his disciples. This was the closest group of men imaginable. Even though there were many more people who followed Jesus from village to village, this small group of men were those whom He spent time, day and night, explaining the ways of God and training them to carry the message of God’s love into the world.
Jesus, being God in a human form, knew that one of this close-knit group would one day soon turn against Him and sell him out to the religious leaders. This is the one who would begin the process leading to the death of Jesus. As you read the Bible, do you get any idea that Judas was treated any differently that the others? That Jesus let His knowledge of this traitorous man affect His ministry? Did He ever ask Judas to leave the group? No, you can’t find anything along those lines. Jesus knew this man would turn against Him, yet He loved and treated Judas just like anyone else. This was the height of what we are being told in the scripture about loving your enemies, blessing those who try to do you harm.
Can I do this? Heck, no….or at least not easily. Can you? During these last days of this Lenten season, my goal is to work on becoming more loving toward those who have done me wrong. Those who have hurt me, either intentionally or unintentionally. Those who just don’t like me.
I hope you will think about how you treat those who come against you. Not dwelling on what they did to you, but what you can do for them….not to them. This is the way Jesus wants us to live…and I can promise you (from experience), it has made my life more stress free when I can do this.

Blessed be the name of the LORD!


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