The Bible passage for prayer, meditation, and reflection for the week of May 21-27, 2017, is Luke 6:27-31. This week’s passage gives instructions for how we are to live our lives everyday, yet Christians everywhere will agree, it is one of the most difficult passages in the Bible to follow.
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:27-31, ESV)
In elementary school, they were called our playground rivals. In middle school and high school, the lines became more defined - they were not part of our group and we looked at and spoke of one another with contempt. In college they were easy to ignore, although a few harmless pranks played on them was always fun. But as adults, things changed. Those we disliked could no longer be ignored and we had to learn to work and tolerate them. As we grew from childhood into adulthood, we learned various ways of dealing with those we considered our enemies, our rivals, or simply those we disliked.
But those methods are the way of the world, not the way of Christ. In this week’s passage, Christ tells us His way. We are to show them love and kindness. We are to pray for blessings upon them. We are to smile when they insult us. We are to kill them with kindness - so to speak. But this passage does not mean that we are to allow ourselves to become complacent in abusive situations! We are to forgive, be kind, and not stoop to their actions, yet we are not required to stay and subject ourselves to harmful behavior!
As you prayer over, meditate on, and reflect upon this week’s passage, consider your actions. Do you show love to your enemies? Ask for the Lord to help you change your attitude and actions, then pay attention to the opportunities He provides! How are you responding?