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Jun
02

Posts for My Graduate #6

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Perhaps the most famous of the Ten Commandments is number 6, “You must not murder” (Exodus 20:13). It prohibits the intentional killing of another human being for personal reasons.

When Jesus dealt with this command in the Sermon on the Mount, he went deeper into the issue and spoke out against the internal emotions that lead to the external act of killing. He said, “If you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell” (Matthew 5:21-22).

So what’s the takeaway? Jesus acknowledged that life is filled with difficult people. But anger, unforgiveness, vengence, and murder are not appropriate ways to deal with those challenging people. Difficult people evoke passionate emotions that can lead to words and actions used to intentionally hurt them. The only thing that can overcome the need we have to settle every score is to possess a love that values the difficult person and sees them as Jesus sees them.

Ephesisans 4:31-32 teaches, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

It would seem that the beginning point of learning to love difficult people is to remember God’s love for us. After all, we’re not always the most lovable either. God loves us in spite of ourselves. We are frequently difficult, yet God extends grace to us anyway. We can never escape difficult people. Love them like Jesus loves you.

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