Loving people well is hard to do. Loving people who don’t like you back is even more difficult. And yet, it was Jesus who said “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
Who was Jesus charging with these words? Just a select few? No:
“He went down with them [the disciples] and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon.” (Luke 6:17)
Jesus was talking to a large crowd when he said this, and now, today, we have become “you who are listening”. So, this most certainly applies to all of us. How do we see this playing out in the Christian apologist’s life?
On social media
I don’t think I need to explain how living out Luke 6:27-28 might look on social media. But then again I’ve seen so many professing Christians blast and demean non-believers on Facebook that it leaves me wondering. I’m not the first, and I’m not the last, but for the love of everything, stop making Jesus look awful on social media. Respond in love, hold your tongue/fingers, and walk away when you can’t do those things.
In the workplace
Think of your workplace as the front lines. You’re able to hear from and interact with people you may not have chosen as friends and who weren’t placed in your family. These are folks from different walks of life and you get to spend 40 hours a week with them. Remember each day, even as water-cooler talk drifts to politics or religion, that your primary duty is to love well and display the love of God well.
Interacting with family members
The holidays are a perfect time of year to hear some vile things said about people with differing viewpoints, unfortunately. It’s also the perfect time to practice living out Luke 6:27. Your beliefs are offhandedly dismissed? Measure the response. Your way of life is attacked? Respond in love; learn to deescalate. We can confidently love and pray for the very people who demean and hurt us by resting in God’s promise of a perfect eternity with Him. His promise of justice is a comforting promise.
Hanging on our living room wall
Luke 6:27 hangs on our living room wall. I have actually looked at that verse as people in our home have belittled our beliefs and challenged our ability to love them. We have plenty of guests and visitors come through our living room (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, total strangers from around the world, etc.). It is a lot easier to rest in that command when it’s staring me in the face. I’d recommend printing off a copy or making your own and placing it somewhere where it can be an ever-present reminder.
In fact, here’s the link to download and print. I’d love to see a picture of it in your home and to hear if it has helped you! Please share with us.