Pastor’s Corner 9/6/2022 “As Good as Gold”

AS GOOD AS GOLD

I recently preached on the need to forgive those who do you wrong. I spent some serious time in my study on a Sunday afternoon. I was tired from the services that day, but my pen just wanted to work. These are the times that you like, as a preacher, because you know from where the inspiration is coming from. I was looking closely at the red-letter stuff in Matthew, and I came across this: So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. This is the golden rule that I grew up with. However, there is a problem. This teaching is not just about others who inconvenience us or get on our nerves, nope this includes our enemies. Is there any tougher command than to “love our enemies”? Not tolerate them or simply do kind things for them. Love them. Those obnoxious, cruel, hateful people. The boss who treats you unfairly. The co-worker who pretends to be your friend then backstabs you. The relative who is consistently rude and insulting.

The first step in loving our enemies is praying for them (not for their disgrace, downfall, or destruction, by the way). And when we pray for our enemies, we need to pray just as much for our own attitudes and behaviors as for theirs. That way, even if our prayers don’t change our enemies’ unpleasant qualities, they will change us.  Often the first thing to pray for, by the way, is simply the will and the grace to want to love those that we find unlovable.

And one final thought, as we practice “Do unto others,” we might even turn an enemy into a friend or at least someone who is neutral towards us rather than hostile. Whatever the case, whether the change happens in others or only in ourselves, when we obey the Golden Rule, we invariably find that it’s still as good as Gold.

Matthew 7:12

Until the nets are full,

Chris

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