Who would you invite to your wedding? It’s The Big Day coming up and you’re working on the guest list. You invite your family, friends, co-workers, etc. and you await the day when two become one and begin a beautiful new life together. It’s going to be amazing! You have the caterer lined up, the church booked, the tuxes rented, shoes and dresses picked out (not to mention THE Dress), and that sweet ring to remind you of a promise. Each day you examine what you’ve been doing toward preparing for that day, and it gets a little more exciting, a little more real.
You’re looking over the guest list when you realize… that man who literally stole your dad’s car is coming to your wedding. What? No way! You skim farther down the list and see the man who sexually assaulted you. The next name is the neighbor woman who told you you were ugly and worthless as a child. There’s the ex-boyfriend who cheated on you. The weight and terror of these memories come crashing down, and suddenly you realize that every single guest on that list is someone who hurt you deeply, a broken relationship; people you feel anger and resentment toward the fact that they would ever be included or even considered for such a list. A lot of these people don’t even like you- they say they do, but their actions show otherwise. In fact, you wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up to insult you, rather than celebrate.
Yet this scenario is very similar to reality. God invites us to his own wedding between Christ and the church, despite the fact that every single one of us has had a broken relationship with Him. On that day, the bride will glorious, even though she is a group of liars, thieves, haters, cheaters, pleasure addicts, prostitutes, and hypocrites. What is this bride, that God would sacrifice His only Son??? She is nothing, but by Christ’s love is made right again. God overcomes the gut instinct to reject those who hurt us, and instead, loves until it hurts.
It is radical love.
It is purity and truth.
It is a restored relationship.
Who are we to deny anyone of the same love, the underlying fundamental truth that changed our lives?
This is why I don’t think it’s crazy to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Who are your enemies? Who persecutes you? Those who make you feel small? People who seem to hate on you for no reason? People you perceive did you wrong?
What wrong has anyone done to you that you have not done to God a hundred times greater?
RADICAL LOVE! See what God offers. Be changed by it. Be different than what is expected.
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:46-48
God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He does not set an example for Himself and does not promise to help us accomplish. Just remember that the next time you’re tempted to surround yourself only with people who love you or are easy to love.