Pause

Only together, hand in hand, as God’s family and not as one another’s enemy, can we ever hope to end the vicious cycle of revenge and retribution.

Desmond Tutu in God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time (2003)

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Listen

“But I say to you who are willing to hear: 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

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Think

It’s not easy to like our enemies. It’s even harder to love them or pray for them.

When someone wrongs you, the easiest thing to do is to seek revenge and return the wrong. When this continues it becomes an endless cycle of revenge. It’s like an endless tennis game of batting the ball back and forth. You send the wrong to me. I send the wrong back to you. And on and on.

Look across our nation and world at all the conflicts, division, and war. Most of these conflicts are rooted in what Desmond Tutu calls the “vicious cycle of revenge.” Wrong deeds keep getting returned, and the fighting never stops.

Jesus provides an alternative way. He invites us to address our enemies, not with revenge, but with love. When others speak ill, Jesus invites his followers to bless them and to pray for them. When is the last time you prayed for someone who wronged you?

Kyle Caudle

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Pray

God, I admit that it is not easy to love my enemies or to bless those who say bad things about me. I pray for all those who have wronged me. Fill me with grace and love that I may see them as your beloved children too. Amen.

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Go

As you go, remember you are loved,

loved so deeply by the God who loves this world.

Drawing from the divine depths of this love,

may you join hands with others — even your enemies —

in making God’s dream come true.

Amen.

Kyle Caudle

Kyle Caudle serves as Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church in Winchester, Virginia. In addition to teaching youth and adults about the Bible, Kyle writes weekly devotions at www.yallsaints.com.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Ken Medema

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