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GEOFFSHATTOCKweekly

SoM 14: Love or Hate at Work?

Jan
15
2007

Issue 218

You would be a very unusual person if you never made any enemies at work at all. No matter how you behave, or how naturally likeable you are, someone may well take a dislike to you, be jealous or even wish you harm.

If you are a more controversial figure or an agent of change you will provoke even more hostility, just by doing your job. As you read you may now be thinking of those whom you would call enemies or even antagonists or those with whom you have fallen out. The most natural thing in the world is to dislike or react negatively to people like this. Strangely, good friends can become enemies, and where there was once liking, there is now enmity between them. So whether you like, loath, dislike or distance yourself from someone you may run the risk of hating them.

Jesus wants a different approach: he wants you to love your enemies. This is not Affection, warm feelings, nor even friendship. This is a Christian love which cannot be found anywhere else but is a gift from the Master. Once he has poured this agape into your soul you can learn to love your enemy. It is deliberate and concerted goodwill which chooses to want the best for the person we would naturally want destroyed. It is a strong, challenging love which might  even stand up to the individual but at the same time be motivated by their interests. It is a specific mindset which refuses to become bitter and even prays for the other rather than sets out to annihilate. It is the same approach that God takes with us and is a reflection of his perfection.

If you want to be a perfectionist,as God is, then love, and don’t belittle, your enemies. It’s hard, it’s revolutionary, it’s a narrow path and few even find the gate.

BIBLE SECTION

Matthew 5:43-48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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Series: Sermon On The Mount
Module: 2
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: agape, enemy, hate, love, revolution

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Geoff Shattock

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