Thought for the Day† #122
WHOM SHALL I LOVE?
Matthew 5:43-44† (New American Standard Bible)
ďYou have heard that it was said, ĎYou shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.í† ďBut I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
†We should always love our family and friends, even our casual acquaintances.† But, love our enemies? Isnít that asking a bit much? Why?
Many things are accomplished when we live as the Lord has instructed. We cannot love and hate at the same time. We canít hate and pray effectively at the same time. We canít be consumed with unkind emotions and have peace within.
Love is the most powerful element of change known to mankind.
Hate and bitterness, with all its evil influence, can be broken by consistent, genuine love. Sometimes we are disliked or hated by those who feel justified. They believe that we have given them cause to feel as they do. Sadly, that may or may not be true. We can even apologize if we have offended or hurt another, only to find that they have not changed their attitude toward us. Only love can break that kind of a barrier.
We may have enemies through no fault of our own. They may be determined to undermine or destroy us. They may hate God, himself. They can hate us because we love and serve Him. Misunderstandings may nurture their hate. Fear is often a propellant of hate.† Love can disarm our enemies as no other power.
Love is a choice!
Many believe that love is a feeling, that we have love or we donít. They believe love happens by some mystical force that suddenly strikes our heart.† Some believe love is the product of what we feel. Actually, we choose our actions and attitudes, producing the emotions that we express.†
Godís word makes it clear. Love is a choice. (Deuteronomy 6:5) (Joshua 22:50) Our choices actually initiate our emotional involvement. We choose how we will respond to many situations. We have the choice to ignore, to return a kind word for an unkind one. We can return peace and love or bitterness and jealousy. Etc.†
Let us love others as God loves us.† Love melts the hardest† heart and breaks the strongest barriers. Love turns enemies to friends. It heals a wounded spirit and broken heart.
GOD IS LOVE. Let us abide in him. We can change many difficult, unsavory problems when we choose to LOVE. We can exchange our unhappy emotions for those of joy and peace. Let us determine to love the unlovely.