by Cynthia Ward
Do good to those who hate you. Luke 6:27, New King James Version.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure when the comment in Luke 6:27-31 was made, it did not pertain to my enemies and me. You see, I deal with a special group of folks. They are different from the ones the Lord was talking about in Luke. Had he considered some of the people I have to deal with, I can say with certainty that he would have said something like this:
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, (except the ones who don’t listen to your perfectly good advice), bless those who curse you, (except the ones who gossip about you), pray for those who mistreat you, (except the ones who make every effort to humiliate you in public). If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also (unless a penetrating glare can freeze them in their place). If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. (But if they look down their nose at you, just give them the clothes you don’t like). Give to everyone who asks you, (never forgetting though, that enough is enough), and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back (Just take it when they’re not looking). Do to others as you would have them do to you, (because you are obviously the better person).”
Is there anything more difficult than a relationship? Even your best friend can sometimes make you want to spit. Time and time again we are given counsel on how we can be a better friend. Never does the Bible say, “Tell your friend to do this, and you will treat them better.” Instead it says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Is that not the easiest request? Yet it is one that’s almost impossible to do. Jesus created us to be in relationships, even if crawling into a cave for a week is something you privately dream of. Come on, give it a try. Smile at the person who drives you crazy, and tell them you’re happy to see them. You’ll see, cave dwelling is strictly for the bears.