If you are a follower of Jesus, your life should have outward marks that reflect your inward convictions. These marks signify that you live your life in a way that imitates Christ. Blessing those who persecute you is another distinguishing mark of a Christian (Romans 12:14). Jesus commanded His disciples to bless those who persecute them (Matthew 5:44). Used here, “bless” is a verbal command. It describes how we should combat hostility - by using our words to give life to our enemies. We do so by standing down during conflict. By choosing words for reconciliation instead of words for retaliation. By speaking calmly, instead of striking back. “A soft answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). Each day we have opportunities to use our words for one motive or another. Will we use them for poison? Or for peace? Scripture says it this way: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). God created our tongue to bless, not curse. Even in situations where we’re engaged in dialogue with our adversaries. And it’s then - when we unexpectedly use our words to give life - that we show the world to whom we belong. Jesus used His words to promote peace. Love. Forgiveness. As His followers, we should do the same.
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