In Luke chapter six, verses 27 and 28, Jesus tells us, “But to those who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”
These verses are a wonderful meditation on love for others, no matter what their attitude toward us might be. When Jesus was on the cross he asked God to forgive the people who were tormenting him because he knew that they did not understand the gravity of their crimes.
When we are hurt by others, so many times it is because they don’t fully comprehend the effect of their behavior on us and how deeply it might affect us, and the same is true with us in regard to others. There are many people who are scarred by trauma that have lost the ability to feel the proper emotions needed to enable them to have a sound conscience, and we need to treat them with the forgiveness that Jesus advises above.
His purpose in coming to earth was to teach us that forgiveness is available to us if we repent of our sins and ask forgiveness, and accept him as the spiritual authority of our lives. His desire to forgive us was so great that he endured unspeakable suffering to bring us this gift.
He wants us to understand that he and God know everything about all of us, and while we may not understand the motives behind the behavior of other people, he and God do know what drives people to behave in the ways they do. To love them anyway, as Christ and God do, is to cede our own self-will and understanding and trust in the love that they feel for all of us.
When we connect with Christ’s love for all it makes it a lot easier to treat others with love no matter what their behavior toward us may be. This doesn’t mean enduring abuse; in fact, because abusing other people violates spiritual laws, it can be a loving act to refuse to be a target for someone who is doing great damage to their own soul by their behavior.
Christ and God just want us to forgive others as we have been forgiven, and to act with love toward other people at all times. If we can’t act in love, sometimes we can just refrain from reacting at all. Restraint is a very loving act, and sometimes it is all we can do. It is most important to Christ that we remember these verses and try to apply them to our lives in whatever ways that we can on a daily basis.
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