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“But if you will listen, I say to you, love your enemies and do something wonderful for them in return for their hatred. When someone curses you, bless that person in return. When you are mistreated and harassed by others, accept it as your mission to pray for them.” Luke 6:27-28
Jesus isn’t saying this because he agrees with what that person has done to you. It’s not about the other person, it’s about you and your reactions. It’s okay to feel your feelings…hurt, betrayal, anger…but deal with them. Don’t let them seep into your heart.
If you’re not careful with your heart, you’ll become negative and unforgiving. Then bitter and resentful, and even revengeful. Don’t poison yourself. Take your feelings and turn them into prayer.
Point to ponder while you wander….Praying for your enemies and those who’ve hurt you directs your negative feelings into a positive. It changes you for the better, and invites God into the situation. Wisdom, peace, hope, and love enter when God does.
I’m having a rough time with one particular condescending co-worker. After a meeting with him I need to walk for a minute and readjust my attitude. Then I read this… sigh. How do I work that magic of my best self coming out in the face of being condescended to?
Proof I need Jesus more every day.
Matthew 5:43-47 The Message Version
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”
Love is always the right answer. I know that. Be kind. Don’t puff myself up. Be patient. Remembering that in the moment and choosing to act on it…that’s maturity in Christ.
Right now my emotional stability is continually fluctuating. And my intellectual pride really detests being talked down to like I am an idiot. I am not am idiot. I may not understand something. I may not know something. But I am always willing to learn.
But these are just excuses and rationalizations.
I should not behave like a toddler.
The Fruit of the Spirit should be kicking in…Self-control and Love.
But I need to choose to respond in love. Just like I need to choose joy in the face of trials like condescending co-workers. Just like I need to choose to maintain peace in the face of stress.
Jesus is always there to call on. Holy Spirit is always there with His Fruit of the Spirit. Abba is always there loving me (and you) and believing in me (and you).
So I need this reminder every Monday: Choose love today, Jill.
Point to ponder while you wander…is verse 48: “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
King David wrote a good chunk of Psalms. He wrote in the desperate times, the good times, the perilous times, and basically every other time in his life.
Being a writer…I appreciate David’s vulnerability and his willingness to express it.
David would seek God when he was at the mercy of someone else’s choices (King Saul trying to kill him) and when his own choices caught up to him.
He never blamed God. He had a legit relationship with God, and understood who God is. God is merciful. God is ever present. He is persistent and consistent.
God never left David. Their relationship was permanent. God’s love unconditional.
When I’m struggling…I curl right up and live in Psalms. They remind me that the answer is always pray, trust God, and worship no matter what.
Why is that the answer? Because God is listening and loves me unconditionally, just like King David.
Point to ponder while you wander…
God is listening to you and will answer you…
“I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.” Psalm 118:21 NKJV
“On the day I called, You answered me; And You made me bold and confident with [renewed] strength in my life.” Psalm 138:3 AMP
“As soon as I pray, You answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.” Psalm 138:3 NLT
We may not SEE immediate results from our prayers, but that doesn’t mean God is ignoring you. He is listening. He heard you. Trust His timing.
His initial response is to encourage and strengthen you. To remind you He loves you, especially in those times when strengthening you is all God can do in the situation.
Sometimes God cannot do what you’ve asked. He has the ability, of course, but God respects our free will. He will only work within the confines of our choices.
When people make choices, God respects those choices even if He doesn’t agree with them. Sometimes other people’s choices negatively impact us.
When this happens pray the Word over the situation! Keep declaring His promises to turn it around for your good!
God will not intervene without invitation. This means your prayer is vital. Essential. Key. VITAL. Keep praying. Keep speaking the Word over every person in the situation. It matters.
Point to ponder while you wander… Prayer invites God to do whatever He can to turn the situation around for the good of those who love Him.
Keep praying. Trust Him. He is faithful. Even when those around us are not.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT
More on this Subject: https://jillbeingstill.com/2016/06/30/god-is-listening/
“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best–the sun to warm & the rain to nourish–to everyone.” Matthew 5:44-45 MSG
So many times in my life I’ve let people steal my joy and peace because of the way they’ve treated me. For too long I’ve let my day be darkened by someone else’s attitude. Jesus spoke this for our protection and for our good.
When we respond the way Jesus recommends, we are able to maintain our peace and joy. We grow in maturity. It’s a bad situation turned for our good. And we are helping someine who is struggling, because that other person clearly needs prayer, a love infusion, and more Jesus.
When we allow people (whether we like, love or loathe them) to color or even ruin our day by their behavior it means we have ceded control of our mind, will, and emotions to someone else. And that someone else probably doesn’t like themselves any more than they like us.
Something to ponder while you wander…a person’s treatment of you is a reflection of them, not you. Your reaction reveals your heart condition, not theirs.
On this absolutely gorgeous day…that I’m thoroughly enjoying….I see this little teeny cloud. And I started thinking about Elijah praying to end the drought. I am not praying for rain but I am praying that you get a hold of the same kind of resolve that Elijah had telling his servant and Ahab to run from that teeny cloud, knowing with all that he was that God had answered His prayer.
Faith is believing before you see the manifestation of your promise or answer to your prayer. Knowing that He who has promised is faithful.
“Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.”
Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’” 1Kings 18:44
Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing!