Mow the Grass and Love Your Enemies

          How do you love your enemy? I mowed the grass.

“How?” you ask is that loving my enemy? While I think it would be fun to read your possible scenarios, I will tell you the story.

We are in the final days of selling our house. Actually, we are past the final days and have moved into the realm of uncertainty and delayed closing dates. Yes, you read that correctly…dates as in it keeps moving. Unfortunately, our buyers haven’t been the most considerate and their agent has excelled at lack of communication and professionalism, leaving us frustrated, and let’s be honest, ANGRY. I have considered all sorts of ways to get even, including taking all of the light bulbs and toilet paper, and I most certainly was not going to mow the lawn and clean the house for these people. Yikes! I’m pretty sure that is not how we show the love of Christ and will only cause more strife, so I mowed the grass, and I cleaned as best I could before we moved out of our house.

For me, this act of service demonstrated love for these difficult people. We will all encounter difficult people in our lives, but it is how we respond that makes all the difference. As followers of Jesus, we are called to be different, showing love to the world and our enemies. Who knows what seeds we will plant for Jesus when we demonstrate love instead of bitterness.

I love the author Catherine Marshall, and in one of her books, she explains that it is not enough to forgive, but it takes an active step to truly move into reconciliation. (I can’t share the exact quote because the book is packed. Sigh.) Jesus was clear, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children 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.” Matthew 5:44

How do we do love our enemies? I know for me it requires the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit through prayer. When I am praying for someone, it becomes easier to love them. The work starts with our own hearts, not praying God will change our enemies, but instead that He will change our hearts to love those difficult people. In this way, we have the opportunity to love like Jesus, and he certainly didn’t have a shortage of enemies. For those of you who happen to be my actual neighbors, please don’t let this devotion color your opinions about the new owners of our house, instead love them more—be the hands and feet of Jesus.

For that matter, let’s all love all people more.

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