Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you—Matt. 5: 44.
Here is a way to examine the real disposition of your own heart toward such. Would you cheerfully do them kindness and help them to the extent of your ability to see the error of their way and to overcome it? Can you tenderly pray for them and patiently bear with their weakness, their ignorance and lack of development, and try by a noble example to show them a more excellent way? If such be the case, then it is the sin that you despise, and not the sinner. The sin you should hate, but the sinner, never. Not until God's unerring judgment declares that the sin and the sinner are inseparably linked together may love let go its hold upon a brother man.
* * *
The perfection of love is love for enemies; nor is there anything in love harder to develop than love for enemies. He who can love, bless, do good to and pray for his enemies, is indeed rich in character; and if he maintains this quality firm unto the end, he will be sure of an entrance into the everlasting Kingdom; for this presupposes proper love for God, Jesus, the brethren and the world of mankind, all of which combined constitute perfect love.
Parallel passages: Ex. 23: 4, 5; Prov. 20: 22; 24: 29; 25: 21; Luke 6: 27, 35; Rom. 12: 14, 17, 19, 20; Matt. 5: 10-12, 45-47; Luke 23: 34; Acts 7: 60; 1Cor. 4: 12, 14; 1Pet. 2: 23.
Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? How did I act in its light? What helped or hindered? What effects came?
TELL ME ABOUT THE MASTER
TELL me about the Master!
I am weary and worn tonight;
The day lies behind me in shadow,
And only the evening is light!
Light with a radiant glory
That lingers about the west.
My poor heart is weary, aweary,
And longs, like a child, for rest.
Tell me about the Master!
Of the hills He in loneliness trod,
When the tears and blood of his anguish,
Dropped down on Judea's sod.
For to me life's seventy mile-stones
But a sorrowful journey mark;
Rough lies the hill country before me,
The mountains behind me are dark.
Tell me about the Master!
Of the wrongs He freely forgave;
Of His love and tender compassion,
Of His love that is mighty to save;
For my heart is aweary, aweary,
Of the woes and temptations of life,
Of the error that stalks in the noonday,
Of falsehood and malice and strife.
Yet I know that whatever of sorrow
Or pain or temptation befall,
The infinite Master hath suffered,
And knoweth and pitieth all.
So tell me the sweet old story,
That falls on each wound like a balm,
And my heart that is bruised and broken
Shall grow patient and strong and calm.
Return to Calender