Tough love

I don’t know about you but sometimes loving others is virtually impossible. (And by love, I mean the biblical kind of love. Biblical love puts others first and even makes personal sacrifices if it would bless others.)

Sure, it’s easy to love family and friends. It’s easy to love those who treat us well.

But, it’s quite another thing to love someone who has mistreated us. It’s even harder to love someone who is currently mistreating us.

Well, if we are followers of Jesus, we don’t have an option. To be truly Christlike, we are commanded to love those who treat us well and love those who mistreat us. If that was a little complicated, then putting it simply, we are commanded to love everyone.

Just listen to Jesus’ words:

Matthew 5:43-47 (NLT) “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.”

This is a rather easy principle to understand. The difficult part is putting it into practice.

So, let’s just get right to the point: Who has hurt you that you are holding ill will against? Now, will you ask the Lord to help you love them? (We’re talking first and foremost in your actions. Your feelings can come along at a later time.)

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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