Have you ever seen a child that other children pick on? It happens all the time. Sometimes, a parent will show their child how to defend themselves. They may enroll them in karate or boxing. Sometime parents just give verbal advice, like “punch them right in the nose.” One of the things we have to learn about in life is how to handle those who pick on us.
You know, Christians also are picked on. Sometimes, their business is attacked. At other times they are attacked on social media, called names or attacked with physical violence. One of the things Jesus did, was instruct his followers on how to handle those who pick on them because of their faith. But he did not say “smash them in the nose.” Listen to Jesus in Matthew 5:44-45, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (NIV)
This week, we are looking at Jesus’ teachings on prayer. Here is the surprise. Jesus says we should pray for those who pick on us or persecute us. Why? Because we must be like God. God sends his blessings – the sun and the rain – on all people. We must also pray for all people, even those who persecute us.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.