This message makes me stop and think.
Do I really love my enemies?
And better yet, who are my enemies?
Do I really have any?
First of all, we are so blessed that we do not have to endure the kind of persecution referred to in this story. But if we did, what would be our attitude? our response?
On a routine day, how do we respond to our neighbors when they do something that displeases us?
Do we vent to them?
Take it out on them?
Are we passive aggressive?
Do we fuss and fume about it in our homes?
Do we love, instead?
Food for thought!
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… Matthew 5:44
Perhaps the most difficult of Jesus’ commands is to love even our enemies. A true Christian always seeks another person’s highest good—even when mistreated. Brother Andrew says “The Christian’s only method of destroying his enemies is to ‘love’ them into being his friends.”
Romanian pastor, Dr. Paul Negrut, was visiting an old friend in Romania named Trian Dors in his humble home. As Paul entered, he realized that Trian was bleeding from open wounds. He asked, “What happened?”
Trian replied, “The secret police just left my home. They came and confiscated my manuscripts. Then they beat me.”
Pastor Paul says, “I began to complain about the heavy tactics of the secret police. But Trian stopped me saying, ‘Brother Paul, it is so sweet to suffer for Jesus. God didn’t bring us together tonight to complain but to praise him. Let’s kneel down and pray.”
“He knelt and began praying for the secret police. He asked God to bless them and save them. He told God how much he loved them. He said, ‘God, if they will come back in the next few days, I pray that you will prepare me to minister to them.’” Paul continued, “By this time I was ashamed. I thought I had been living the most difficult life in Romania for the Lord. And I was bitter about that.”
Trian Dors then shared with Paul how the secret police had been coming to his home regularly for several years. They beat him twice every week. They confiscated all his papers. After the beating he would talk to the officer in charge. Trian would look into his eyes and say, “Mister, I love you. And I want you to know that if our next meeting is before the judgement throne of God, you will not go to hell because I hate you but because you rejected love.” Trian would repeat these words after every beating.
Years later that officer came alone to his home one night. Trian prepared himself for another beating. But the officer spoke kindly and said, “Mr. Dors, the next time we meet will be before the judgement throne of God. I came tonight to apologize for what I did to you and to tell you that your love moved my heart. I have asked Christ to save me. But two days ago the doctor discovered that I have a very severe case of cancer and I have only a few weeks to live before I go to be with God. I came tonight to tell you that we will be together on the other side.”
RESPONSE: Today I will destroy my enemies only with love.
PRAYER: God give me Your kind of love for my enemies—so they too will love You.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks
© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission
- Selflessness (sharinhislove.wordpress.com)