God’s standards are pretty high.

Each day presents a new choice – to follow the path of God or carve out your own.

Which will you choose?

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“You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore, just as your heavenly Father is complete in showing love to everyone, so also you must be complete."

Matthew 5:43-48

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How easy is to completely avoid the person you dislike the most? You block them on Snapchat and Instagram, you avoid one another in hallways, and you might even go so far as to not speak to any of their friends. You never have to interact, and you can go on living totally separate lives.

Unfortunately for us, God’s standards are often not the easiest way to do things. We might want to hate (or at least ignore) our enemies, but God calls us to love them. While forgiveness may take a while, a first step is to pray for them – and don’t pray that God would strike them down! Pray for God to bless them and to soften your heart toward them. It’s hard to hate a person you continually pray for — and who knows, perhaps one day you might become friends.

Stacie Whalen

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God, forgive me for holding grudges and hating people you created. Help me to forgive them and for them to forgive me. Help me to see them as you do. Amen.

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Go recognizing God’s image in yourself and others.

Stand up for what is right; live your life in a way pleasing to God.

Be kind to everyone and let your actions speak louder than your words.

Stacie Whalen

Stacie Whalen is a student at McAfee School of Theology. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Atlanta area. She calls Peachtree Baptist Church home. Besides her love for Jesus, she is also obsessed with Doctor Who.

Black Berry Blossom - Trust and Obey

Jim McConnell

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