Luke 6:27 NKJV
When we’ve been criticised or offended by someone, speaking well of them is usually the last thing we want to do. If we’ve been hurt by their words, we can often want to retaliate with our words. But, unsurprisingly, this is not what we’re being called to do. Jesus tells us to ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’ (Luke 6:27-28 NIV). It takes character, compassion and courage to be able to do this. At times, it may seem almost impossible. But with God’s help we can be the bigger person in the situation. We can turn the other cheek and treat others in the way that we want to be treated (have a look at verses 29-31). And when we respond in the way that Jesus is calling us to, a few things happen. Firstly, we show others that we’re able to rise above criticism by speaking well of the other person. We also defuse our ‘enemy’s’ criticism of us. When people hear us speak well of, and bless, a critic, their respect for us rises and they see us in a different light. People start to see us as fair-minded and generous. And, more importantly, it gives people a glimpse of the character of Christ through us. Our refusal to respond in a worldly way may even lead people to ask why (this could be a great evangelism opportunity). We might think that it’s a high standard to try and reach. But it’s the one that Jesus set, practiced throughout His life, and is calling us to live by today.