Love my enemies?
Mt 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Lu 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Two of the hardest verses in the Bible! Heard a business man this morning at men’s prayer ask for prayer for his enemies. I remember a couple of years ago, during an intensely competitive contract negotiation, that I found myself speaking evil of my competitors, trying to get that edge in the bidding process, to be awarded a very lucrative contract.
Heard another businessman, say, ‘It’s a dog eat dog, world, gotta do what you gotta do to win the rat race!’ Seemed like reasonable advice in the rough and tumble of construction contracts and bidding wars, but I was reading a good book one day, when the author made the statement:
‘Some say you gotta do what you gotta do, in order to win the rat race: well, I’m not a rat, and I’m running a different kind of race!”
The author is right. I am not a dog, I am not a rat, neither are you, if you are a blood bought child of the king, called to honor, dignity, respect, and the wisdom of God.
Reminds me of a funny story:
A farm boy got a white football for Christmas. He played with it awhile and then kicked it over into the neighbor’s yard. The old rooster ran out, looked at it, and called the hens to see it. “Now look here,” the rooster said, “I don’t want you girls to think I’m complaining, but I just want you to see what they are doing next door.”
Sure we work hard to feed our families, and to fight for our companies and ministries, but we are running a different race. An eternal race, with souls as the great prize we fight for. There are times God Himself will intervene in our lives, and businesses, and we will make decisions by His Spirit, that in the natural appear to be insane, for He may direct us to love our enemies, and to lay our swords down at times, as He has eternity, and eternal salvation on His mind.
We are all in business, the salvation business, the great commission, the harvest of souls. It has been said that Christian leadership can be the lonliness place on the planet, as we make decisions sometimes in love, in secret, in obedience to the Lord, that cost us personal sacrifices that only He can understand. Yet, understand, He does, and He keeps the books. There are things I have done, that at the time appeared business stupid, yet ten, twenty years later, bore much fruit for the kingdom, as He moved, saved, and transformed my previous enemies, and they came and told me about it, and that I was a major part of their salvation, My example caused them to come to Jesus, and change everything.
How we live, before our enemies in the business world, our leadership example in word and deed, will affect future generations.
Ps 73:15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
Authority and Responsibility are simply two sides of the same coin. When we take responsibility to serve, go the extra mile, and pick up the slack to do what needs to be done, (even when it is not our job!), we find that we are promoted by God, and given more authority. Great authority, God’s way, is the grace and ability to serve more people. Dictators want authority, without responsibility. If we give them place in areas we have a God given responsibility to do for ourselves (is Food Stamps, government cell phones, benefits we didn’t earn) then we give them authority, they should never have been given.
I liked Ronald Reagan’s famous quote: ‘Me, I’m simply a servant of all, Guess you could call me the chief janitor in the White House’
Like Spiderman says as Peter Parker: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’.
In the kingdom of God, it generally goes the other way: as we take more responsibility in serving, our promotion will come, and we will be given more authority, to serve more people.
Jesus summed it up like this:
Mr 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
‘Father, help me to be in the world victoriously, but not of it. Help me to gauge my decisions in light of your Word and Spirit, measuring my walk by your standards, not the mere standards of the world system, and business world. Speak to me, where I need to change and go, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’