“Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also” (Luke 6:27-29 NLT).
When you’re persecuted, harassed, and face opposition, you need to respond with a blessing.
Jesus says in Luke 6:27-29, “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also” (NLT).
Who does that?! Not many people, actually. It’s what sets Christians apart, because it’s not a natural or popular or easy response.
It takes a lot of courage to do those things! Any fool can fight back. Anyone can fight back. Anyone can retaliate. Anyone can respond with something mean.”
God wants you to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who hurt you, and turn the other cheek. Is that easy? No. You can only do it by being filled with God’s love. But it is the most powerful form of witness.
In the movie The Butler, we see how the Freedom Riders, who fought racism and segregation in the South during the Civil Rights Movement, trained people how to not retaliate when they were hit, spit on, cursed, pushed, or hit by food that people threw at them. It’s a very powerful scene of taking a nonviolent stance.
As I watched that scene, tears started coming down my face. I thought, “I want to be that kind of person for Jesus. I want to be that brave. I want to have a heart of courage that won’t cave in to what’s wrong, no matter what they throw at me. And I want to respond with love.”
When you refuse to retaliate and instead respond in love at work or with somebody who doesn’t like you, God will be pleased. And you’re going to be blessed.
“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven” (Matthew 5:10-12 NLT).
Jesus paid a price for you. He says there’s a price to be paid for following him. Popularity on Earth is not part of the guarantee of being a Christian, but your reward in Heaven is guaranteed.
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick >>
Talk It Over
- What has your faith cost you — and have you ever regretted that cost?
- How do you handle insults or rejection because of your faith? What’s the limit on how much you’re willing to suffer for Jesus Christ?
- How has your faith been shaped by choosing to respond in love and not with retaliation — or by watching other Christians respond that way?