Ever wondered what is the most difficult commandment (of NT times) to obey on a scale of 1-10? For many the commandment to LOVE OUR ENEMIES (Matt 5:43-48) would score a perfect 10! So how about a series on this vital subject?
Christian victims of communal persecution for no fault of their own in the state of Orissa in India (in recent times) and many others going through similar kind of persecutions in different parts of the World, would doubtless find obeying this commandment very, very difficult. But when we consider the fact that that this commandment has been given for our good, perhaps it would become easier for us to obey it.
What do I mean by "for our good"? Examine the
following verse carefully and the answer will emerge: "Watch out that
no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting
many." (Heb 12:15). Who suffers the most, when there is
bitterness in your heart? Is it not YOU who is harboring bitterness? No
second thoughts on this score, please! For it is said that bitterness of
spirit is like an acid in a vessel. It corrodes and destroys the
very vessel in which it is stored. We are the ones' who would suffer
from increasing hypertension or mounting glucose levels whenever we
nurse a strong desire to get even with someone who has wronged us. Our
health deteriorates, even as the impelling desire to get even consumes
us. Would it not serve us well then to hand over (I admit it is easier
said than done), all our grievances to the ONE, who has said,
"Vengeance is mine" (Romans 12:19)?
The claim "vengeance is mine" is no empty boast of the ONE, who has "settled scores" countless times historically. Jesus handed over Himself to His Father, even as His enemies (Jewish religious leaders and many other Jews) subjected Him to inhuman treatment. Add to His physical and spiritual anguish, the torment of people mocking Him, at the foot of the cross (Matt 27:39-43/ I Peter 2:21-23), and the picture of extreme provocation with a capital P would emerge. But did the Son of God threaten to get even? NO! But would the Father keep quiet? Is not the chilling fact of Jerusalem's destruction by the Roman army in 70 AD, along with the massacre of over 1 million Jews (who scowled at Christ in the cross) a case of God keeping His word for good? ALWAYS. Be it in the matter of blessing or even "settling scores" on behalf of His wronged ones'!
Are you being persecuted? Let the Almighty handle the matter!
For more on this subject, join us next Tuesday
for Part 2 of this series.
(To Access the entire "The Command and the Call" mini-series, please click here.)