As a high I in DISC, I tend to get along well with everyone. However, there are a few people that I’ve come across, that I clash with. There’s something about them that I don’t like and they bring out the worst in me. Because I don’t like them and they don’t like me, we have an antagonistic relationship where we tend to fight, put each other down and try to harm the other person psychologically, emotionally or socially. Can you think of someone or people who bring this out in you? It’s probably not hard to do in today’s world. We’ve allowed ourselves to become divided over everything, and for whatever reason, people who see the situation differently than we do, bring out the worst in us. So many of us are walking time bombs just waiting for the right person to rub us the wrong way and boom! We go off unleashing a tirade of words and actions we’ll regret later.
In Matthew 5, Jesus was giving the Sermon On The Mount. It’s most famous for the Beatitudes that He started off with, but as He kept going, He began to challenge the way we think and live, especially our self righteous attitudes. In verses 43-45, He said, “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves” (MSG). Love your enemies? Your political ones? Your religious ones? Your social ones? Yes. And the word “love” here is the agape love. This isn’t an emotional love like you would have for a spouse or family member. This love is one where you do things for the benefit of another person, have concern for their well being and seek the best for them. He’s talking about doing that for the ones who disagree with you on every level.
I know this is hard, but it’s the lesson Jesus has been trying to get us to adopt for 2,000 years at least. Why? Because when we act in anger, we’re identifying with the fingerprint of Adam in our life instead of God’s fingerprint. He said that when we respond in love, we’re working out our true selves that were made in the image of God. Remember, it was while we were enemies of God that He gave His one and only Son. He gave us His best when we were at odds with Him and didn’t deserve it. When we look past the differences we see in those we don’t agree with or we feel are out to harm us, we will see the image, or fingerprint, of God in them. Start by praying for them, not to see things the way you do, but for their brokenness to be healed. Pray for God’s blessings on their life. As you pray for them, and seek the best for them unselfishly, you will notice a change in you and them, most notably in your heart.