Remember JESUS’ experience with Judas? Long story short, Judas betrayed JESUS, the most loyal friend he’d ever find. Put yourself in JESUS’ shoes for a second … how would you have responded? Maybe you would have responded like my cousin who jokingly said, “You’ll get shot for snitching.” JESUS, however, didn’t retaliate; HE responded kindly, even toward an enemy.
When I read the verse cited above, one word really convicted me: everyone. When I first read the verse, I thought it was a typo or that the translator made a mistake. I mean, I totally understand the latter part of the verse: “especially those in the family of faith.” But everyone? Hateful, prejudiced, back-stabbing, jealous, and irritating people, too? Yes! There’s no mistake in this verse; GOD expects us to be nice to everyone.
Paul’s words point to one of JESUS’ most controversial sermons. During the “Sermon on the Mount” JESUS said, “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” (Matthew 5:43-44, New Living Translation). Don’t argue against this WORD, just walk in it; be nice to everyone. Remember, “… you will always harvest what you plant” (Galatians 6:7, New Living Translation).
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you … (Matthew 7:12, New Living Translation).