Walk This Way: Bless Your Persecuters

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)

Did you just feel the degree of difficulty go up a notch on this list of things Jesus-followers do?

walk_350Until this one, everything we’ve covered has been easy to agree with even if you don’t necessarily plan on doing it. Just imagining yourself doing them makes you feel pretty good.

But this one is personal. I imagine myself doing this one, and I feel pretty bad about it. Blessing would be exactly last on my instinctive list of things to do if someone persecuted me. It would come after “ducking,” “persecuting back,” “leaving town for the good of my family,” “explaining what the persecutor obviously doesn’t understand,” and “hiding in a hole.”

Following Jesus is hard. His path led through betrayal, torture, and a public, brutal death on a cross – where he forgave those who were persecuting him. This is what Christians do.

Think: Over the centuries, some people have read this verse while in the middle of violent persecution for their faith in Jesus. Do you think being in that place would make it harder or easier to imagine imitating Jesus and obeying this command?

Pray: Ask God to help you to bless those who persecute you, to bless and not to curse.

Do: Read Matthew 5 and notice everything Jesus says about people who are persecuted.