The Way DAY 29 - Give What God Gives

DAY 29 - Give What God Gives

Luke 6:37-38

I remember studying the Psalms in a college class. Lots of psalms complain to God about enemies. One of my friends, a real gentle soul, said, “I don’t really think I have any enemies.” Maybe you feel that way, or maybe knowing your enemies is all to easy for you. Either way, loving your enemies starts with naming your enemies. Ask yourself: Who is my enemy? If that’s hard, ask it a different way:

  • Who frustrates me?
  • Who scares me?
  • Who makes me feel “ick?”
  • Who do I feel hostile toward?
  • Who feels hostile toward me? (Who sees me as an enemy?)

So, who is your enemy? If you start on the level of frustration and annoyance, you might be starting close to home. A lot of us have “sometimes enemies,” people we sometimes do and sometimes don’t feel hostile toward. That might be family member: sibling, parent, child, spouse. Might be a coworker or a flaky friend. Or someone who cuts you off in traffic. 

Who scares you? “Woke activists?” “Christian Nationalists?” Who do you feel hostile toward? Who feels hostile toward you? Maybe you can think of someone with an ax to grind against you personally, or maybe you imagine a group or nation that hates because you’re Christian or you’re American.

The problem with excessive generosity towards our enemies is that it quickly gets stuck in a neverending string of “whatabouts” - whatabout this person? Whatabout this situation? Whatabout criminals and terrorists? 

We can look at examples like MLK who made Jesus’ vision their response to injustice. Maybe some of you are called to start a movement. But I think it’s hard to treat hundreds of people better than we treat one person. So start small. Find that one person who might be “enemy,” and ask: how can I show excessive generosity? 

Give your enemies what God gives his. Because one of God’s enemies was you. And God holds nothing back to save you. 

Reflecting on your own life, who might you consider as your enemy or someone you have hostile feelings toward? Who might think of you as an enemy?

God, you don’t treat me like an enemy, even though I’ve treated you like one. Thank you! Help me to give my enemies what you give yours. Amen.

Posted in