A minister at our church just finished up a 7-Sunday sermon on Matthew chapter 5.
This last sermon was on the last few verses in chapter 5 and I've put the ones that have convicted me the most at the top of the blog post here. Yeah, I've heard all about loving my enemies and praying for those who persecute me. I've always envisioned that as those faceless people who hate Christians who need Jesus just as much as me. Those people I have never met but I am praying for them anyways.
However, this sermon pointed my thoughts in a different direction. It pointed out those unpleasant people in my life. Those people I would just rather avoid because they make me uncomfortable. Or they grate on my nerves just a bit too much. These verses are talking about those people, too.
If there is one thing God has been calling me to over this past year, I feel it is to love the unlovable.
That's not really all that easy to do.
But being in this ministry of Gateway Woods, I am surrounded by those people that grate on my nerves and just plain make me uncomfortable. But after hearing the sermon this past Sunday I was just reminded that that is exactly where God wants me to be. We have had (and currently have) residents that live with us that really know how to push my buttons. It would be my survival mode to just "put up with" some of these individuals and hope they move along quickly. But God has placed them where they are for a reason.
And right now they are living with me.
So, do I just put up with them and hope for the best?
Or do I show them Christ's patience, love, mercy, and forgiveness.
Well, if I go back up and read that verse again...I think I have my answer.