Conflict isn't fun or easy, but there is a simple and effective solution found in the Bible.
[Darris McNeely] One of the hardest things for us to do in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, and this could be one of those really hard teachings that people sometimes talk about regarding Christ, but it really comes down to it's simple to understand but it's hard to do.
It's in Matthew 5, and where Christ says, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. That's hard. That's difficult to do. We don't want to pray for those that have brought pain to us in some way in our life, or who are maybe directly persecuting us, someone that we might think of as an enemy, not necessarily a friend, because of actions or whatever he's done. This is difficult. This type of teaching is really where it comes down to the hard things of being a Christian, but the necessary things that we have to do to follow the teachings of Christ.
You know, He goes on. Christ says that you may be children of your Father in heaven. That's why we do it. By loving our enemies, we show that we know that God is in charge, God is our Father, we have a relationship with Him, and that we are His children and how we are to act, and we love that relationship. He goes on Christ says, "For He causes His Son to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." That's me, you, your enemy, someone who doesn't like me or my enemy as well.
Conflict with people is not pleasant. It's a part of life, however, and we have to learn to deal with it. And Christ gives us basically what we have to do. Love our enemies. Pray for those who persecute us.
I did an earlier BT Daily on this and I talked about how the ancient Romans would erect a statue to their greatest enemies to remind them of their defeat, and what it took for them as a people to defeat such a noble, effective warrior. And they would build a statue to them. Now, we don't have to build a statue to those that may be fighting. But we do need to realize that when we do use that as an opportunity to draw close to God and recognize God blesses us all in our own ways, then we know something about ourselves, and we become better people.
The tension, the struggle, the problem can make us better. And we can come to the point where we indeed love our enemy. We learn something about ourselves. We learn what we can become, good people, righteous people, and God can pour down the rain and the sun upon all of us at that time.
Always an important lesson, one of the hard sayings of Christ, and yet one of the most important ones we are to do. Let's examine and look to how we treat one another. And indeed, let's strive to love our enemies and become better people as a result.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.