“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT)
Act Like A Child
That’s a good thing? That is how I should act? What are you talking about? How should you act? Should I act like a child? I know what you are thinking. What am I thinking? You often heard, during your younger years, that you should grow up and stop acting like a child. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that as I was growing up. And now, I am being told that I need to act like a child. That sounds confusing, I know. But there is a huge difference between acting childish and acting like a child. You are going to need to clarify the difference for me. We’ll see about that. Let me ask you a couple questions first. Alright, I’m listening. How would you describe childish behavior? Childish behavior is self-centered and self-indulgent. A child is focused on one person. Who is that? A child is focused solely on themselves. That’s true. What else? A child is focused on one thing. What’s that? A child is focused solely on their wants and needs. If a child does not get what they want, when they want it, look out, a tantrum is on the way. That’s also true. You can be sure that I do not want you to behave in these childish ways. I have no doubts about that. That’s good.
If I asked you to behave like a child, but not any child, but my child, what would you think? That puts a completely different thought on behaving like a child. If I am to behave like your child, that means I would want to become like you. As your child, behaving like your child, I would want to think and speak and act like you. I would want to do what is pleasing to you. I would want to love you, just as you love me. I would want to love others, just as you love them. I would want to follow your example. I would want to go and do what you did. Now, you are understanding how I could ask you to act like a child, my child that is. Yes, I understand. That’s good.
Now, I am asking to act like a child, my child, in a very specific way. Do know what I am asking of you? Yes, I do. You want me to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. Yes, I do. Will you become like me in this way? Will you love others, just as I have loved you? Yes, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, it is my desire to become like you in all that I think and say and do. Help me love like you loved. I will love my enemies and I will pray for those who persecute me. Help me to live like one of your true children as a bold and bright witness for you in the world. Amen
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