Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bless the Jerks

Bless the Jerks
March 31, 2014
Luke 6:28  ". . . bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

As Christians, we are to love one another.  This is obvious and completely understandable.  It is good to love.  Loving others and blessing others makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.  Everyone likes to be surrounded in love and blessings.  The Lord demonstrated it, Jesus taught it, and we are to put it into practice.  Most people can accomplish this when someone is deserving of love.  But how do you accomplish this when the person is a jerk?  How do you bless those who curse you?  How do you love someone who is treating your harshly, not just people with character flaws, but people who might even be harming you emotionally or physically?

Some Christian counselors would tell you to leave the abusive relationship if you are not safe.  This is excellent advice, but when the person is no longer harming you, you have an obligation to love and bless them, even if you feel they are not deserving of it, even if they haven't changed.  Even if the person is a jerk, you still have to bless them, as this is the mandate from the Lord.  It is not easy.  I can tell you there are people who have harmed me in the past and it takes a strong force in me to pray a blessing on their head.  Most days I want to let them be eaten alive by sharks, but I still have to pray for them, even bless them.  Frequently, my mouth has to utter the words before my heart can follow.  Sometimes my heart simply can't follow my words, it is too difficult.

There is no formula in Scripture that teaches you how to love someone or pray a blessing on their head while they are actively mistreating you.  It is a requirement, like it or not.  You have to do it.  Hopefully it will get easier as you mature in your Christianity, realizing Christ loved you first while you were still a jerk.  I know I've been a jerk many times in the past, yet I still needed love and blessing.  In fact, that is a good way to turn someone around from being a jerk.  Sometimes it takes an act of love, an act of blessing, to change someone from being a jerk.  Maybe your prayer, your blessing over their lives, will warm their hearts and convince them of their degenerate ways.  It happens more than you realize.

It happened that way for you.  The love of Christ in your life has changed you.  He loved you  softened your heart, making you much less of a jerk.  The only way some people can stand you today is because the Lord's love and blessing worked on your heart.  We can all attest to this truth in our lives.  But it still doesn't make it easier to bless someone who is or never will be worthy of a blessing.  Worthiness does not matter, however, in the Lord's demand for you and me to bless the jerks.  He never said bless the jerk if you want to or if you feel like it.  He never said it would come naturally, just the opposite.  Christ recognized it was and will always be a difficult task.

There is one small silver lining in doing the impossible, in blessing the jerk.  Consider it a boomerang lesson.  The Apostle Peter clarified Jesus' command to love our enemies.  He said we should do it because we will inherit a blessing ourselves.  If you cannot convince yourself to love the jerk out of the goodness of your heart, then try it first with the hope of getting a reward.  While our motives should never be selfish in nature by simply getting something in return, it might make it easier to put it into practice.  Scripture clearly teaches reaping from sowing.  We know it is true a person reaps what he sows.  So maybe you should sow a blessing in someone else's life, even when he is still being a jerk.  Maybe someday you'll get a blessing when you don't deserve it either, in this life or the next.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 5:43-48, 1 Peter 3:9

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