43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Jesus says, love your enemy. Love the person or people that you are in conflict with, that you don’t see eye to eye with, or even that has caused you harm. Jesus reminds us in this that although we may be in conflict with others, each of us is created in the image of God.
Jesus says…pray for them. Not to pray that they would see it your way. But to pray for them as another broken human-being made in the image of God. To pray that God would speak into this conflict and circumstances. Pray that God would convict them in the heart of their own brokenness and need for God, but also pray for God to do the same to you.
Jesus tells us that we are to be salt of the earth and light of the world. God calls those who follow Him to be unique, to do things in a different way, as people set apart by God. In a world where angry sound bites of politicians, athletes, and stars fill the airwaves, I cannot think of a better way for us to be salt and light. So when someone says, why you are handling this different, you can say, because Jesus says…
- Who is an enemy that you can be in prayer for?
- What do you want to pray for your enemy? Take time to lift it up before you stop reading this.