Honoring People we don’t like

A question I get asked often is how do I honor a person who hurt me, wronged me, who hates me. In the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel was told by God that his wife was going to die that night, and God told him that He wanted Elijah to not mourn or grieve over his wife’s death, she did die and Elijah says, ” I did as God commanded me”. Whenever I read that passage I wonder what I would do if God said to me that Patty was going to die unexpectedly, and He wanted me to act normal, with no grief or sadness. I think I could do it, in spite of how I would feel from the great loss, because God commanded me to do it. There are certain rules and laws in the New Testament that are very counterintuitive, and therefore we feel justified in doing things our way instead of God’s. Here is a classic one that Jesus says in Luke 6:27-28 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Here is a similar command from the apostle Paul in Romans 12:20-21 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

If we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, doing hard things ought to be what we do, that’s who we are. God has infinite power available for us to live life with great strength, faithfulness, and obedience to Him, but if we are going to do the easy way, the world’s way, our way we are on our own.

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