Christianity 401: Bless Those Who Curse You, Part 1
Let’s continue our “Graduate Level Christianity” by looking closely at some of Jesus’s toughest teachings - some of His relational commands for His disciples. Most of these commands are found in Luke 6, verses 27-36. Jesus commanded His disciples to love their enemies and to do good to those who hate them. He then told them to bless those who curse them. This command is a verbal one. It describes how we should combat hostility: by using our words to give life to our enemies. The power of our words cannot be overstated – they’re used either as poison or for peace. Scripture explains it this way: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Look at Jesus’s example on the cross. As He was being crucified - the most excruciating way to die - He spoke words of forgiveness to His Father for His killers. When we ask for forgiveness on behalf of our enemies, we emulate Jesus on the cross. Is blessing instead of cursing someone who has hurt you difficult? Absolutely. Sometimes you do so while gritting your teeth. But you still do it. You discipline yourself to do it. And the more you do it, the more you receive Jesus’s supernatural strength to continue to do so. And please don’t forget this truth: Blessing those who have wrongfully hurt us must include asking the Lord to bring them to repentance. For the Holy Spirit to lead them to admit that what they did was wrong. How else are we to bless our enemies? To pray for those who have harmed us? Abused us? Or for those who are entangled in ongoing, intentional sin? Especially if we are still living in their presence. Tomorrow, we’ll explore how it’s possible to do so. But for today, do this. Realize that God created your tongue to bless, not curse. Yes, even those who have cursed you. You open the door to the Lord giving more blessings to you. And you’re never more like Jesus when you do.