“bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” Luke 6:28 NIV
How are you able to bless those who curse you?
I know the standard “Christian” answer to that- through Christ and His love you are able to overcome your human emotions and do good to those who do you wrong.
But HOW do you do that?
I am currently reading, Memoir by G. Leibholz (which is part of one edition of the book, The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer). It is an account of the life and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In it, the reader gets a glimpse of how Bonhoeffer gave his life willingly for the cause of Christ.
Bonhoeffer poises the concept that God suffers from man’s neglect, from man’s remoteness from his creator. Because God suffers, Bonhoeffer felt his own suffering paled in comparison. He also truly believed that God suffered alongside him, that he was not alone in his prison cell, that he was not alone in hurting for the German people who so needed God.
The concept that God suffers with us is not knew. However, reading the poetry and letters written by Bonhoeffer has awakened in me the realization of how much God truly loves all mankind.
When I see commercials of hungry children, when I watch the news and see countless acts of unexplainable violence and when I drive down the road and see the homeless, I know that God aches.
He aches for His creation. He longs to draw us near, to hold us close as a mother does her precious baby.
While He has given us free will to choose Him or the world, He is not indifferent to our pain.
Why would we think that?
Don’t you have compassion for those you don’t know? Why wouldn’t He, the maker of us all, not hurt when He sees us hurting? Why do we not attribute this type of emotion to God?
The God who allowed His son to die for us, who gave the ultimate sacrifice- a sacrifice I could never imagine giving- is still crying out for us to come to Him!
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28 NIV
I have a strong feeling, that if needed, He would send His son, yet again, to redeem us all!
What price hasn’t He paid? What price won’t He pay to get our attention?
Why do we think of the Bible as ancient history and not realize that the God of the universe still yearns for a relationship with His creation?
While the Bible is history, it is a living history- still applicable today. His call, His desire, His will for all man is to come to their creator, to stop living as if dead and to stop breaking His God- sized heart day after day.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
God loved us enough to die? Do we love Him enough to live?
So to answer the question I started with: we bless those who curse us because God blesses us when we curse Him with our random (and not so random) acts of neglect and remoteness, with our overt and covert sins.
Bonhoeffer understood how much God loved ALL mankind, even the Nazi’s; therefore he was able to be kind in the face of cruelty.
When we begin to view others through God’s eyes, we are able to love them with God’s heart. That is what enables us to bless those who curse us. We are ambassadors of His heart, His pain and His forgiveness.
God aches for us all…do you ache for others?
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14 NLT