Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
I don’t think of myself as someone with ‘enemies.’ In fact, it saddens me to consider all of the so-called ‘reasons’ why people might have hostile feelings toward me, and my country, when they don’t know me in a personal way. I want to be on friendly terms with the whole world.
But do I always act as if I’m the world’s friend?
Today’s Scripture reminds me that love is not just a feeling. It is an action I must take toward the people I’m with.
And if I am persecuted – stuck in that persistent state of being troubled, annoyed, or harassed – prayer is medicine for my soul.
If I’m to follow Jesus’s command to “love my enemies” and “pray for those who persecute me” on a grand, global scale, shouldn’t I begin with the people I encounter every day?
Here are some individuals who could use my “love and prayer” practice today:
– The person who cuts me off in traffic
– The cashier who is rude to me at the store
– The teacher, coach, or referee who is unfair to my child
– The person who disagrees with my political views
– The demoralizing colleague who belittles my work
– The family member or friend who speaks harshly to me
In the words of the husband-and-wife songwriting duo, Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
Who persecutes (i.e. annoys or harasses me) on a regular basis? Can I make it a daily practice to pray for this person in a special way for the next three weeks?
Lord, You draw me to You when You invite me to pray. Give me Your eyes to see the people in my life who need to be lifted up in prayer.
Copyright 2018 Gretchen Matthews
Gretchen Matthews is a wife, mother of three, storyteller, and lover of the Word. She encourages others to see grace at work in their lives at her blog, Like the Dewfall, which you can find at www.gretchenmatthews.com.
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