Just imagine, getting into heaven, and the first person you meet is the one you liked least on earth? Yes, it’s possible. After all, God loves that person just as much as he loves you. Or what about all the evil characters you’ve read about in the Bible— people like Pharaoh, or Jezebel, or King Herod? They don’t fall outside the scope of God’s loving intentions either. What God wants for you is what he also wants for your irritating family member, your nosy neighbor, as well as history’s worst villians—that they be “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Here’s another shocker! Your enemy can help you move toward that seemingly insurmountable goal of perfection. Jesus’ command to be perfect appears right after he explains how to treat those who hate us: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:44-45). In other words, if you want to be perfect, begin by loving your enemies.
That is one tough task, often I will say to Our Lord, “This is too much-I just can’t do it.”
But, of course it’s impossible, it’s beyond human ability—or at least it would be, if it weren’t for the blood of Jesus, that He shed for us on Calvary.
For all of us who hold unresolved issues, or resentments, try to listen with the Lord’s heart today. Instead of harboring spiteful thoughts, writing hateful emails or comments, or gossiping about others, say a short prayer for that person or persons who comes to mind. Think about whether there are other people you should be loving more than you do, people who may love you and you can’t even see it—not “enemies” exactly but people you may take for granted, look down on, or consider unworthy.
Start with those nearest to you, and related to you. Pay attention to the thoughts that traverse your mind as you watch the news or see a person in need. Ask God’s forgiveness when you discover your own shortcomings. Take advantage of God’s grace, His very invitation to love, and His perfection and Holiness will begin to shine out in you.