God clearly tells you to love your enemies. Maybe I am a little naïve in the fact that I do not believe that people should be treated like crap. No matter how evil they are. I think that if we all treated each other the way we wanted to be treated that the world we be a better place. And even if your enemies are not treating you the way you want, what good is it to then treat them the same way. Yes, it may bring you some satisfaction but it is really making you a better person. No it is making you worse.
It amazes me that such a simple concept could be so hard. That is because we are people and we have wide array of emotions going through us on any given day. We have jealousy, anger, hate, discontentment, the fact that we just don’t like someone, or some people are just plain evil and they want to jack up everyone else’s day up. Some people have internal issues of their own and instead of getting themselves right they want to take out their issues on other people.
It is for these reasons that people are mean to each other, that people hate you, and although it is easy to hate them back you should never return evil for evil. You say “well they are mean to me, so I am going to be mean to them.” And when you really think about it. What is it all for? The only thing it creates is more negativity and more back and forth. It can be emotionally draining and time consuming to treat someone bad. Call me strange but I have the notion that it is better for people to get along and work together as oppose to working against each other. Even if the other person does not want peace it is easier for me to be at peace by being peaceful. You have the ability to be the bigger person if you really want to. And that repaying good for evil, actually shows what a strong person you are.
Any one can be mean to someone who is mean to them. It does not take much maturity or self control to do that. You can be the one to choose to treat people like people even if you think they do not deserve it or even if you think they will not return the favor. Not because you want to, but because God tells you to love your enemies. And when God tells you to do something and you do it even when it is hard, He will reward you for it. So even if you are not doing it for the other person, do it in obedience to God.
I have learned that as a Christian, I not only need to talk the talk, but I also need to walk the walk. It takes no effort what so ever to tell the world that I am Christian. It does take effort to behave like a Christian. (see my blog here)
The Bible teaches
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Leviticus 19:18
And I know that it is hard to smile in someone’s face when they are getting all your nerves and you do not like them. I know it is hard to treat someone nice when all they have done is treat you like the crap on the bottom of their shoe. I understand that. But you have a choice to make, you can treat them like crap back or you can choose to put on the face of God and treat them like God would treat them, even if it is hard. We can choose to the master of our emotions (see my blog here on that). We can choose to do the right thing and treat people right even if we do not want to or even if they do not deserve it.
What I have come to realize is that by modeling a way to treat people and modeling a way to love people, it often teaches them how to love.
If you say that you are a good person, then be a good person. Be a good person to others. If you say that you are Christian, then be a Christian to everyone. Because even though they may not know God, they can see God through you, if you are behaving in a Godly way. And really, that is the whole point of it all. To spread God’s love and to spread His word and to mimic the behavior of Christ so that people can see Christ through us.
You do not need to go around sprinkling holy water on people and speaking in tongues to prove to them that you are Christian. It is in the way that you behave, the way that you act, and the way that you treat people DESPITE how they treat you.
The Bible states
“’and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Always remember loving other despite what they do you, is for your benefit and not theirs (see my blog here on that).