Does it seem like the world has gone crazy? Has manners, kindness, and all sense of decency became a thing of the past? A simple trip to the supermarket can lead to frustration due to rude comments and evil stares. A fill up at the gas station may result in someone blowing their horn because they are in a rush… and mercy, what about the school drop off and pickup lines? There’s no need for further explanation if you’ve been through one! For some, their job is a place of torment because of gossip, backstabbing, and that lazy employee always trying to get credit for what others are doing!
In such times, how do we cope? Did the Lord give us instruction on dealing with people and what our response would be? Of course! Jesus said in Luke 6:31 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Oh boy, that may not be what we want to hear, nevertheless… this is what we should do. As Christians, we should lead by example, not basing our response on how we’re treated!
Jesus asks us to follow his example of loving our enemies. In verse 28 he says, “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” We are to grant our enemies the same respect and rights we desire for ourselves. This love has already been shown to us through Jesus Christ. We didn’t deserve it, but he loved us anyway.
Love means action. We must put love to work in our daily lives by taking initiative in less than desirable situations. It is easy to love those who love us, and display kindness and generosity, but we are not to put limitations on our love. I’m certainly glad I was not excluded when Jesus hung on that cross! He is my Savior and I want to serve him because of who he is and what he’s done!
It takes a conscious decision to show love in this world. We don’t just wake up one day with the ability to do it. We are able to love because of Christ in us, and as we grow closer in our walk with him, it becomes easier to deny the flesh and follow the leadership of Holy Spirit.
We can’t just go through life justifying our actions because of what someone else did or said to us. If that were the case, Jesus would have called on the twelve legions of angels he told the disciples that the Father would send him in Matthew 26:53. We can make it, we can overcome, we can forgive… we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13)
I pray, “Father, give me strength today to face this world and respond with love and grace. Thank You for loving me while I was in sin, and help me to understand that by showing others love and forgiveness, it may lead them to You. I do not like to be mistreated, nor spoken down to, so please Lord, help me treat others the way I want to be treated.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.