~ LIVING ~
~ LIVING ~
In my personal opinion, the worst type of enemy is a back-stabber or anyone who betrays me, or anyone for that matter. I see trust as the cement to all relationships. Even in work relationships, there must be a level of trust and knowing someone has your back if there is going to be cohesiveness in the work place. Even more so in friendships and romantic relationships.
So here goes a HARD lesson today...are we called to "LOVE" the back-stabbers too!!?! How can God expect us to love people that betray us? Is it even possible to love them? Let's look at some scripture and see.
JOHN 13: 1-15 ( just read this story & let it soak in a few minutes!)
What really got me as I read this story again:
Jesus even washed the feet of Judas...the one who was to betray him in just hours! Jesus KNEW Judas the one who would betray him! Jesus KNEW he was about to get stabbed in the back!!
BUT get this, He served & loved Judas anyway.
Jesus did not skip over him. Jesus did not smirk and mumble while washing his feet...He served & loved REGARDLESS.
Think about it! Jesus was giving up ALL of his glory, power and majesty he could have demanded from them. He gave it all up to serve in the lowest position for His friends and Judas, His betrayer!
Now I know me and I am not sure I could .... or WOULD do this for someone I knew had betrayed me! Not only was Jesus being nice, He was serving Judas and the others by performing the task that was given to the lowest servant on the totem pole!! Washing feet was entry level and just down right nasty back then! It would be much easier for me to call Judas out & tell everyone of the injustice. The Judas(s) deserve to be shamed and held accountable, right??....Jesus says no, not by YOU Sheila. Ouch
It is easy to serve & love the ones who appreciate our efforts but not the 'Judases'. It is humanly impossible to love those who betray us, but with God ALL things are possible. Jesus example is a hard one to follow when the last thing we feel like doing is good to those who hurt us and therefore 'do not deserve it' in our eyes.
The moment we deem the 'Judas(s)' unworthy of love will probably be the moment the Holy Spirit reminds us that WE DID NOT DESERVE SALVATION EITHER, but Jesus didn't withhold it from us. (another punch to the heart)
So HOW can we LOVE one who has betrayed us? Christian agape love is different than a friendship love or romantic love. Christian LOVE means you work diligently to forgive the offender, through prayer, godly council and obeying what God leads you to do to overcome this hurt. Christian love doesn't mean you have to invite them to dinner or do lunch on a regular basis.
This choice to LOVE the 'Judas" is between you & God more than between you and the offender really. It doesn't mean what the offender did is excused, it only means you want a growing relationship with God MORE than you want revenge.
To love and serve requires that we forgive. Can you say H.A.R.D? But remember, with God all things are possible!
I can promise that change will come when you begin to work through the hurt and anger, going to God in prayer AND a willingness to be obedient to what He tells you! He will begin to change YOUR heart and the way you think of that offender. It won't be easy or overnight, but He WILL make it happen if we truly want it.
He begins with us. He grows our heart's ability to see what Jesus did for us as we betrayed Him. Only when we understand that forgiveness, can we begin to forgive and love others in that Christ-like way!
The more I study the Bible and get to know my Jesus, the more I see how amazing He is! The night before he was to be crucified, he didn't ask for a special event. He didn't fall into a pity party. He didn't make it about himself at all!
Jesus used his last night with the disciples to SERVE them. Jesus HUMBLED himself by washing the disciples feet. He SHOWED them by example on his last day of life what they were to do for others.
Jesus taught them that night to SERVE & LOVE even the betraying back-stabber.
Jesus showed us- YOU SERVE & LOVE Me & Others, God takes care of the rest. John 13:1-15