“What? What are you saying, Dad? I don’t understand! This is too much! Didn’t you hear what I said? Shawn, my best friend, took Becky, the girl I love . . . and . . . and I’m supposed to what – love him? I don’t know what kind of language that is, but it must be something foreign. It doesn’t make sense!”
“Calm down, son, hear me out. Right now, your emotions are tearing you apart and I don’t blame you at all. A wound to the heart is sometimes worse than a broken bone or even a bullet hole. I have suffered wounds to the heart too, but I found the ointment for healing.
“Whatever problem we have in life, the Bible has the answer. Matthew 5:44 gives us the answer to this problem too. Jesus says, ‘But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’”
“Dad, I heard what you said, but that part never did make any sense to me. Why in the world would anyone want to love an enemy or bless him? I save my blessings for my friends that I like.”
“Where would we be if Jesus took that approach? Since the fall of Adam and Eve, we were all born into a sinful world. But God loved us so much He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for us if we will accept it. He forgives. That is real love – the kind that loves in spite of sin.”
“But, Dad, it hurts so much. What do I do with that?”
“It burns clear through your insides, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, how’d you know?”
“To be healed of this pain, we must extinguish the flame of anger with forgiveness. When we forgive and bless our enemies, it does not mean they get away with what they did. It does not mean what they did was okay; it does not mean it doesn’t hurt; it only means that we release God into their lives. We release blessings (God) to deal with them. We do not take vengeance; it is not our business anymore. God will prick their conscience, bring their offense to the forefront of their mind and give them a chance to see clearly, what they have done. He offers them a chance to repent. Wouldn’t you like to have your friend back?”
“Well . . . yeah . . . I guess so. I miss him already.”
“You know, Dad, when you say it like that, it doesn’t sound so weird anymore. I guess God’s way is better than our way, even if it hurts for a while.”
“Yes, son, God’s way is always better than the way of our flesh. That’s why Romans 8:13 tells us, ‘If you live according to the flesh, you will die . . . .”
“It sure feels like it.”
“But if, by the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.’”
“There you go again, talkin’ that foreign language.”
“Come on, son, let’s get my Bible. I’ll explain it all and the language won’t sound so foreign to you.”
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