“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, that you may be children of your Father in heaven,” (Matthew 5:43‑45a NIV).
Growing up, my mom loved to act funny with my sister and me. She would go out of her way to make us laugh, especially when we needed it the most. Sometimes her silliness would annoy us and we would become easily irritated. Sometimes her silliness would be embarrassing, especially if we were around some friends or people we knew. My sister and I would begin to act like we didn’t know her and distance ourselves from her. We didn’t want anyone to associate us with her. Looking back over the years, we laugh about it and appreciate it so much more. Now my sister and I go out of our way to embarrass our children, so we can carry on the family tradition.
Even though we may have fun being silly and rambunctious, there are some things we shouldn’t play around with – how we treat others. How we treat others reveals a lot about our character and our relationship with God. When we conduct ourselves the way God tells us too, we are a blessing to Him and He is proud to call us His children. When we don’t, He puts His hand over His eyes and shakes His head from side to side like my sister and I did when we were embarrassed by our mother. That’s not how He wants us to act and yet, we call ourselves God’s children. Those types of actions don’t line up with His Word. The good thing is God is loving and patient. He knows we still have to deal with our sinful nature and have a constant need for His forgiveness and mercy. Out of His loving kindness, He brings us close and shows us that we didn’t really embarrass Him, but we embarrassed ourselves. Humbling and submitting ourselves to God’s Word will keep us from acting in ways that we shouldn’t. Then we will be able to pray and love those who might stand against us.