Inseparable, p. 93
Have you ever experienced ridicule for being a Christian? Has anyone ever teased you or tried to make you feel stupid for believing in the supernatural, let alone in Jesus Christ? If it hasn’t ever happened, chances are it will someday. What are we supposed to do when it feels like the world is our enemy?
Take a moment to read 2 Corinthians 5:15-21, and this selection from the Peacemaker chapter:
These passages, like so many others, reiterate that we must be peacemakers, ambassadors on God’s behalf, who plead with people to reach out to Christ to rescue them. Remember the great story that God is weaving, the one that culminates in His ultimate glory? It is all about reconciliation and setting things right. It is all about redemption. It is all about making people, relationships, and this very world brand-new. God is about creating. Violence in any of its forms, whether it be physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, or verbal, is the opposite of creating. As peacemakers, we must vehemently oppose violence because it tears apart God’s heart for us as His most treasured creation. As peacemakers we must be about the business of bringing people together with one another and, through the good news of Jesus Christ the Anointed, point the way back to God.
I want people to like me, so it is hard when someone misunderstands, ignores, or dismisses me, especially when that rejection is based on the fact that I love Jesus. But I have to remind myself that it isn’t about me, and it isn’t about my rejection. It has to be about Jesus, and Jesus is about redemption. My reaction can’t be one of “violence”– I can’t lash out verbally, I can’t spew hatred on Facebook, I can’t feed a fire of bitterness against the people who reject me. I have to love my enemies.
What does it look like to love our enemies? We pray for them. We talk to them if they’re willing. We listen to them. We try to put ourselves in their shoes and see things from their perspective. We put aside our own comfort for a minute. And if we really, really want to be like Jesus, we try to find ways of serving them. Ways to perhaps even lay down our lives for them. But before we can do any of these things we have to get over our own addiction to self-prioritization. This is a constant battle for me so I know it isn’t easy. But wouldn’t it be worth it to see our enemies become our friends? To see them become friends with Jesus?
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)
This week’s assignment is to read Chapter 7: Sister. In this chapter, we’ll take a look at what it means to be a part of the church, the body of Christ.
This week’s discussion question:
Whom would you consider an “enemy,” and how might God be calling you to love that person or people group?