Matthew 5:43-44--You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Last night was the second round of soccer playoffs for my coed team. During the game one of our players chose not to follow the game plan I had laid out before we started play. Because she did not cover defensively her assigned competitor, the other team was able to score. When I called to her attention the fact that her failure to follow the plan cost our team, she became argumentative and stomped off the field and went home.
Without Christ, I'd have been furious. I don't care for this woman and her whining, her arrogance and selfish spirit. I don't like the way she tries to bully others to get her own way. The fact of the matter is, no one on our team cares for her. Without Jesus I could think of lots of things to tell her. But because of Jesus, I realize her attitude is the symptom of a deeper problem. She is unhappy. She needs Jesus.
I don't need to dislike her, I need to pray for her. I can have an affinity for this person because Jesus in me makes me able to love what my own flesh would detest. Affinity is not easy. But if I love Jesus, I must learn to see people as He does. In doing so, my heart is changed.
How incredible that the God of the universe chose to have affinity with me, a sinful wretched creature. Mind boggling? Awesome! Humbling . . .
“If we walk in the light as God is in the light," God will give us communion with people for whom we have no natural affinity.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1997 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)