From overt malice to cold indifference, enmity is simply a failure to offer bold love. Yet Jesus commands us to love those who don’t love us. How?
God models forgiveness for us by sending away hate (and substituting love), by sending away self-protectiveness (and replacing it with vulnerability), and by sending away vengeance (and in its place doing good). Substituting love for hate makes sense (difficult as it is to do). Replacing self-protectiveness with vulnerability raises more concerns. But sending away vengeance and doing good to one who’s wronged us? Nobody wants to do that. It seems so … unfair. It’s so unlike us – and so like God.Read more
“Good Friday goodness.” The phrase seems a crass contradiction. How can goodness and a horrible death share the same space? What’s good about Good Friday?
We easily act neighborly to those we enjoy. Jesus wants us to treat everyone He brings into our life as a neighbor, even the difficult neighbors.
There’s more to forgiveness than just naming our sins and asking God to forgive us. Such confessing and asking are followed by being forgiven and made clean (1 John 1:9). What extravagant gifts! We recognize their bounty by saying thank you.Read more
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” I’ll bet you skimmed over the “as.” Would you want to ask God to forgive you exactly as you’ve forgiven others? Think about it. Forgiveness turns out to be a rather unsettling issue.Read more
We all know what hate looks like. But we’re less familiar with sending away hate. Thankfully, sending away hate is most familiar to God.