"I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, 45 for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best - the sun to warm and the rain to nourish - to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. 46 If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that." Matt 5:44-46 (The Message Bible)
When our Lord was physically here on earth, he declared in the presence of haters and despisers that he came to help people overcome inadequacies and deficiencies.(Luke 4:18). His life was devoted to preach to the poor -which he did by living among them-, he healed broken-hearts, helped prisoners, and delivered people from spiritual bondages.
Though there were moments of altercations between him and hypocritical religious leaders, yet He did not make enemies out of them, neither did he rain fire and brimstone down on them. He was mostly found among the sick, needy alcoholics, prostitute and societal rejects.
Jesus lived for strangers and died for sinners, born and unborn. When he sent out disciples and apostles, he asked them to teach new Kingdom principles, to heal sick people, minister deliverance and generally ensure the well-being of people and society. He did not have a mentality of making enemies out of people, even when some were really seeking his hurt. He prayed that God forgive us who nailed him to the cross. His excuse for seeking our good was that we did not know better than our actions. Where are those believers who excuse away other's inadequacies, pouring out blessings to those who willfully hurt them?
Do we still have people truly living the life of JESUS today? Many people are so-called believers who have no-tolerance for fellow believers. Any little offence turns people into sworn-enemies. Many supposed believers spend time praying against others than they do to pray for others.
Many so-called Christ followers have no budget of time or resources for others in obvious need around them. The first sets of believers in Acts 5 laid down all they had for the common good of all. Where are those living the life of JESUS today?
The life of JESUS is a life of sacrifice. It is a life of continuously forgiving others, including those who do not seek forgiveness. It is a life that bless and continue to bless others, whether it is acknowledged, appreciated, or with favors returned or not.
The life of JESUS is a humble life. The life of JESUS will take undeserved beating on behalf of another. JESUS stayed away from materialism and constrained his followers to do the same. Though JESUS was rich, yet he made himself poor for the sake of people and humanity. He refused to flaunt wealth. He refused to harass others by the glory that he had in God's presence. So where did many of us boasters and gospel merchants get our natures from?
There are many who need to repent and ask the Lord; Lord JESUS, am I really living according to your nature?
This is my prayer, you can make it yours too - "Lord, I ask you to help me, and I ask you to sustain me, as I seek to live in your likeness, seeking the good of others, even at the cost of my comfort and convenience. Lord help me to be a Christian indeed, not by title, but by my lifestyle. In JESUS name, I prayed. Amen!"