Blessing Our Persecutors
Café Menu for Friday, August 21, 2015
Today’s Special is: When Loving Feels Impossible
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Carolyn Dale Newell
Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.”
1 Peter 3:9-10 NKJV
When someone has spoken unkindly to us or their actions toward us have been evil, we want to strike back. However, we are commanded to bless them instead.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Romans 12:14 NKJV
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.
Matthew 5:44 NKJV
From these verses, we learn that we should pray for them. That does not mean that we pray for God’s vengeance on them, as some do, but we should pray for their salvation. We also learn that we should do good to them. That goes one step beyond praying because that brings us in contact with them.
The command to bless these hard to love people is repetitive, but how do you really bless someone? We are called to inherit a blessing – an undeserved blessing. How can we not extend the blessing of forgiveness and unconditional love to others when God has done that for us? We should follow the example of Christ who did not revile when He was reviled (1 Peter 2:23).
Many times, I have heard testimonies from families who want to tell the murderer of their son or daughter that they forgive them. They want to share the Gospel with that person. That is a perfect example of this command. Such forgiveness can only be accomplished through the love, power, and grace of the Holy Spirit.
What a witness this is, not only to unbelievers, but also to Christians seeking to “love life and see good days.”
Read 1 Peter 3:8-12.
Who are the unkind people or the persecutors in your life? Pray for them. What act of kindness can you show them this week?
This is hard and it is only going to come from You because it is not within us. Put a love in our hearts for those who are hard to love. Show us ways to do good to them. Help us bless and forgive them because You have forgiven us so much. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2015 by Carolyn Dale Newell. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Friday, 21 August 2015.