Its time for Five Minute Friday. Five minutes. No edits. No revisions. Set the timer….Go!
Common ground. We all want common ground. But do we really? Do we want common ground with everyone? My son asked a question this week, and it kind of struck me: Does God love Satan? God says to love your enemies, but I was wondering if God loved Satan?
Stopped me in my tracks. Immediately I saw myself. Do I really love my enemies? The next question is this: who is my enemy? Paul’s instructions to the church in Rome (Romans 12:14-21) are simple. Love your enemies. In deed, not just in word. If they are hungry – feed them. If they are needy – cloth them. I began to realize, as Christians, the truth is, we aren’t to even have enemies.
We don’t have to wait for common ground to get along with anyone. We are to just love. Everyone. Period. Not their sin, not their choices, but we are to love them as souls. I think of some people in my life right now I’m not really getting along with…..and I wouldn’t necessarily call them “enemies” – but they aren’t really friends.
My heart was immediately convicted. I ask the Lord to change me when I read Scripture, and He is definitely trying to. It begins with my heart.
My favorite verses is this one:
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves but leave it to the wrath of God…” Romans 12:19
Paul is asking something really hard for his Roman readers – more than just finding common ground, He is asking them to love. And he uses the word: beloved to describe the church. We are so loved. We are wrapped and held in the love of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity’s love for the church is unconditional, measureless, and completely freeing.
It frees us to love even those we don’t like. Maybe we hate them. But we can love them. Maybe not their choices or the sin they are involved in – but as souls who will live forever somewhere – we are called to love them.
Its hard. Oh my its hard. But the first step is the hardest. And the first step may be for us to recognize how deeply loved we are.
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