Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Luke 6:27-31 (NRSV)
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Treat people the way you want them to treat you. That lesson was drilled into me from childhood. Sunday school teachers, pastors, parents, grandparents, and school teachers all did their best to teach and enforce the golden rule. By constantly reinforcing that lesson in every setting, the adults in my life were investing in my ability to function as a productive member of society, helping me learn to get along with and respect others.
Love your enemies. Be generous and forgiving. Do to others as you would have them do to you are oft-repeated themes in Jesus’ teachings. But in an increasingly secularized society, how will people learn those crucial lessons? Every day we hear stories of hate and violence throughout the world. Social media and instant global communication make it easy for us to mistreat others or to fan the flames of intolerance without witnessing the consequences of our own behavior. We are more interested in taking selfies that show us in our best light than in seeing others through the light of God. How do we as Christians respond?
We must respond as the Savior taught us. When we live in a way that makes it clear to the world that we do love others as we love ourselves, we effect change in the world one interaction at a time.
Loving God, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who demonstrated to us what it really means to love others as we love ourselves. Remind us daily that how we treat others makes a difference not just in our lives and the lives of those others, but in the world. Impress on our hearts the desire to be kind, generous, and forgiving, and to love those who may not act lovingly toward us in return. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Go with God.