Quiet around Parkview today - most everyone is at Catalyst One Day @ Willow Creek. Reading The Good and Beautiful Life this morning, which I can't recommend highly enough, and came across this great insight:
"To love is to will the good of another. it does not entail an emotion, loving or even liking a person. we will their good and demonstrate i tin action. This is a crucial point. Loving our enemies seems impossible to us because we think, 'I can never feel love for a person who abuses me.' Jesus is not asking his apprentices to feel love but to act in love toward everyone, including or enemies." (127)
I think Jesus knew this was the place where we'd grow the most - more even than prayer, reading Scripture, fasting, or serving the poor- when we had to return curses with blessing, when we had to give back good in return for evil, when we had to take a punch and return a kiss. This is when we begin to trust God in ways we couldn't possibly imagine, and also when we start to break a cycle of violence that helps keep the world in slavery to revenge and personal war.
What would happen today if you loved someone who had given you nothing but curses and evil ever since you met them?
What would your workplace look like if you returned a co-workers anger and hate with an act of pure grace?
What happens to the grudges and past wounds we have when we slowly but surely move toward actively loving our offenders?
This is the way the world changes for the sake of Christ.
Listening: Ellis Paul, "Conversation with a Ghost"