Every other Friday, I post a new Scripture, discuss my reflection of it, then give you the chance to do the same. By participating, you will have the chance to win prizes, as well as the opportunity to meet other Christian teens. =)
Krista L: 13
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor
and hate your enemies.' But I say to you, love your enemies.
Pray for those who hurt you.
If you do this, you will be true children
of your Father in heaven."
~Matthew 5:43-45 (NCV)
Have you ever been tempted to seek revenge on someone who has mistreated you? I know I have. When people hurt us, our natural reaction is to hurt them back. Think about it: When a fist fight breaks out between two guys (whether in real life or in movies), you almost never see one of them taking the beating without at least trying to fight back. Since humans are sinful by nature, we are going to have to go against what we feel in order to please God.
If you have ever taken a "punch" by someone (whether they gossiped about you, made fun of you, etc.), your natural instinct may have been to take up for yourself and serve justice. However, God tells us to pray for these people instead. Treat them in love, as if they were your best friend. (Keep in mind that often the people who hurt us the most are the ones who have been deeply wounded themselves and are desperate for love.)
No, keeping peace rather than seeking vengeance isn't going to be easy. It's not going to seem fair that you can't punch the other person back whenever you receive a mean blow. But if you act on love rather than your emotions, you are showing satan that he has no power over you. Others will notice that your ability to keep peace is not through your strength but God's--and because of that, you will serve as a witness to them. God will also reward you for showing love to your enemies rather than hurting them in return (see Proverbs 25:21-22).
- Think back to a time when someone treated you poorly. What was your natural reaction? Did you act upon your feelings? +2 pts
- Have you ever put this verse into action by loving and praying for someone who has mistreated you? What was the result? +2 pts
- List ways that you are going to show love to the next person who tries to "throw a punch" at you. (Example: Speak kindly to them rather than show vengeance.) +2
- This Scripture says that showing love to those who hurt us will prove that we are His Children. But why do you think He wants us to pray for them as well? +2 pts
- Discuss your own reflection of this Scripture (as I did above -- at least one paragraph). +5 pts