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Are you willing to listen?

Photo by Melody Jacob on Unsplash

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”

Luke 6:27-28 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/luk.6.27-28.NLT

They waited diligently for several hours for him to be released from the county jail. A plan had been put in place. Support was set up. There was a home and a job. It was a wonderful opportunity.

All he had to do was listen.

Instead, as he exited the jail, he made some lame excuse about why he was going to live with her in her car. Within hours it was likely that drugs would be involved again, after having been drug free for a couple of months. He got in the car. They drove off.

All he had to do was listen.

It is easy to read this, and pass judgment. Jesus is talking to all of us in these words that Dr. Luke wrote down for us in the Bible.

But to you who are willing to listen….Stop right there. So often this is the important question. Are you and I willing to listen? Listening is best demonstrated when counsel given by one is acted upon by another.

What Jesus says next is literally head turning. Love your enemies! There are a lot of ideas about what to do with enemies. Loving them is not usually in the top 5. Jesus challenges us to a different way of thinking and acting in relationships, even our enemies.

Wait, there is more. Bless those who curse you. I read this and I want to shout “are you serious?” What would it look like to bless someone who has just cursed you out? By them a coffee? Get them a gift card? Fix something at their house?

That’s not all. Pray for those who hurt you. I want to fight back. I want them to feel the pain they have inflicted on me. I want to give my own brand of justice. Jesus gives me a completely different way of dealing with thisPray….for them….the ones who hurt you.

This is so different than the way most of the world lives. So back to the big question: Are you and I willing to listen and act on what we have heard?

For the bad people in our lives, we are to love, bless, and pray for them.

Are you willing to listen?

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for a different way to live, when in conflict. It is life changing. Help us to listen and act on what You have shared.

In Jesus name, Amen

-Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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