Love Your Enemies

 

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

By Carolyn Dale Newell

 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36 (NKJV)

Someone has probably popped in your mind. It may be someone that you cannot get along with no matter how hard you try, or it may be someone who hates God and wallows in the worst kinds of sin. We hate their sin, but we should love them enough to give them the truth of the gospel.

Biblical love is not an emotion, but it is a choice to be merciful. The story of the good Samaritan is a great example of this. Two men passed the injured Jew by, but the one who stopped was his enemy, a Samaritan. The hatred between Jews and Samaritans ran very deep.

Since God is kind to the unthankful and evil, we are to show them that same kindness. We are God’s children. Therefore, we are supposed to be like Him. God does not withhold blessings from the wicked. He causes the rain to fall and the sun to shine on all. This is known as “common grace”. When we love our enemies, we are showing them the love of God.

The unsaved world loves its own, but they hate their enemies. We are no longer part of them, and we are to love as God loves (v. 32-33).

It is difficult to love someone that you really don’t even like, but if we do not love them it is sin. We can only do this through the power and love of God. Pray for God to help you love this person. Begin to pray for your enemy, and you will see a change in your attitude toward them. Be your Father’s child and love.

Lord Jesus,

Forgive us for our failure to love perfectly as You do. Put that kind of love in our hearts, especially for our enemies. Thank You, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Luke 6:27-36.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Who is your enemy? Make them your mission field. Begin by praying for them. Do something kind for them this week.

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.

Throwback Thursday: Laughter vs. Depression

LAUGHTER VERSES DEPRESSION

By Carolyn Dale Newell

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

Prov. 17:22 (NKJV)

Several years ago, I was very depressed. Don’t let someone tell you Christians do not get depressed. Elijah was depressed, and he prayed for God to take his life (1 Kin. 19:2-4). I had a chemical imbalance that was intensified when my teen-age daughter left home and cut off all communications. I cried uncontrollably, and I did not want to leave the house. Food didn’t taste good, and I had interest in nothing. I could not sleep, and like the prophet, I wanted to die. My husband did not believe in depression or anti-depressants, but he quickly became a believer in both.

I loved to watch TV shows that made me laugh, but I didn’t realize at the time that the Bible tells us that laughter, a merry heart, is like a medicine. I guess that is why I am so silly now. Sometimes, I will be the only one in a room who will laugh at something.

Did you know that laughter relieves stress? It causes the body to release endorphins; our natural chemicals that make us feel good. Laughter can lower high blood pressure, and it burns calories.

It is wonderful when Christian comedians and gospel singers can put a smile on a face. They encourage us with reminders of God’s love and promises, but they also make us laugh. People are going through trials, and a few minutes of laughter is just what they need.

If you think you may be suffering from depression, I urge you to please seek medical help. I also want to reinforce that depression is normal, so don’t feel ashamed. God gives us grace and mercy, but He has allowed scientists to develop meds for certain circumstances. If you know someone who may be depressed, please get them out of the house for some fun. God knows us so well, and He knew that we need laughter.

Dear God,

Thank You for giving us laughter. Thank You for blessing us with people who make us laugh. Father, be with each one who may be suffering from depression. Guide them to the right place for help, and pour out Your comfort and grace upon them. Thank You. In Jesus‘ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read 1 Kings 19:1-18.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Did you see yourself in this devotion? If you can identify with my symptoms of depression, or you recognize them in a family member, please seek medical help.

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.