As Christians, it’s so easy to forget that we are called to show love, kindness and compassion toward everyone. Regardless of how they treat or act towards you. As I was praying this morning and spiritually putting on the armor of God “Ephesians 6:10-20” and came to the shoes of peace and being a peace-maker, I was reminded of those I haven’t been showing patience or love to. So as a I was praying for God to help me be a true peacemaker, the prayer that came to mind was “Dear Lord, help me to love the porcupines in my life.”
You know who they are, the ones who when you get too close their little quills come out and hurt you. However, what we forget is, they are still God’s creation and the majority of those who are like that do that out of fear or protection just as a real porcupine does. Yes, proceed with caution and pray for God to guard your heart but proceed nonetheless. We are called to be brave and courageous in loving others in order to reveal the love of God to believers and non-believers alike. Leave the critiquing and transforming to God and the Holy Spirit and simply love the unloveable and the lost.
As I was reflecting on all of that a little more, the scripture below came to mind as a reminder of what God calls each of us to be like. I particularly liked this scripture from “The Message” translation.
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:43-48