27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
- Jesus’ call to love enemies often frightens us, and so we tend to ignore it. What Jesus is emphasizing by asking us to love, bless and pray for our enemies and turn our other cheek, is for us to break the cycle of hostility and animosity. After all, God broke the pattern by one bold act of love, sending his son to suffer and die for our sins. As we respond to that love, accepting the salvation Christ brings, our whole attitude toward God has changed, and we now love and want to please Him. It is not easy, but following Christ has never been easy. Yet, it does make us free.
- Name a person who has wronged you. Ask Jesus to give you his forgiveness for that person and take away the hatred and revengeful attitude in your heart.
Suggestion for Family Devotional Time: v31 is often called the “Golden Rule.” Can you explain why? Notice that it is a positive statement rather than a negative one. Discuss how it can be of value in our lives today. Choose one of the valuable lessons to do this week. Record it in your Family Journal.
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 7:4-5
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, 5 to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.