The Daily Word: Friday, January 6th, 2017
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…” – Matt 5:43-45a
The more you love people who don’t deserve it, the more you become like Jesus. It’s easy to love people who are nice to you; it’s tough to love people who aren’t. Yet Jesus exhorts us to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who use and persecute us. How can we possibly do all those things? By getting really good at forgiving other people.
Every offense is an opportunity to practice forgiveness. When we refuse to forgive someone, we think we are really sticking it to them. The reality, however, is that we are hurting ourselves. We are perpetuating the offense and giving the enemy a foothold to rule over our interactions with that person. “But Pastor…,” you might say, “You don’t know what they’ve done.” But God does. And He would forgive them because of the blood of Jesus.
You’re not perfect! But God loves you anyway because Jesus purchased your forgiveness. The people around you won’t be perfect either; but Jesus purchased their forgiveness too! We show them who God is by loving them unconditionally – especially when they don’t deserve it.
Father, help me to forgive the people in my life who don’t deserve forgiveness. Bring to my remembrance the offenses that have hurt me the most, so I can let them go – once and for all!
© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.