ODJ: working with enemies

June 23, 2015 

READ: Luke 6:27-36 

Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid (v.35).

My friend Stephanie opened a second hand shop in a small town. She planned to funnel the proceeds to a ministry for unwed teenage mothers. Soon another secondhand shop opened nearby. The owners of that shop began buying Stephanie’s items and reselling them at higher prices. Stephanie knew it was underhanded, but she found that it allowed her to get to know them and tell them about Jesus. And God has prospered her business despite the actions of those who could be considered enemies.

This reminds me of Jesus’ words: “If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back” (Luke 6:29-30). In context with the rest of the passage, these principles show us how to relate with people who try to take advantage of us.

When I think about Jesus’ teaching on enemy relations, I feel some resistance in my spirit. I wonder why He asks us to humble ourselves in situations where others try to exert power over us. But, after thinking about it, I believe we’re to act this way because He’s big enough and good enough to take care of us, no matter what the enemy does. Trusting in His character helps us to honour His Word when it says, “Never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God” (Romans 12:19).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day-plan: Luke 4:16-30

Read Romans 5:10 to learn about our status in relation to God—both before and after salvation. Read Proverbs 25:21-22 to see what can happen when we show kindness to people who mistreat us. 
List your enemies, pray for them and see what happens over time. Certain situations involving enemies require extreme caution. How can we show them God’s love from a distance?