Tempted to Call for a Curse
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
If you are anything like me it’s a little easier to bless those who bless us, than bless those who persecute. But in Matthew 5:44 Jesus tells us, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Why? Because two things happen when we pray for them: we change and they change.
I can’t help it, no matter how grudgingly I might start out my prayer for someone who is persecuting me or with whom I might be at odds, something happens inside of me. I soon become interested and involved. I no longer want to call down fire from heaven — roasting the offending party in God’s holy wrath — rather, my heart is softened and I begin to look for ways to help and heal the broken relationship. My entire perspective changes, and as a result I am changed. Prayer establishes the linkage between us. It’s almost impossible to pray for someone and hate them at the same time.
In our passage today, Paul tells us to simply bless them. The next time someone criticizes, harasses, condemns, or even attacks, let’s try something different. Instead of a curse, offer a prayerful blessing like in Numbers 6:24-26: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” By doing so, we will experience a power in our lives, with an ability to love that surpasses our human understanding.
The Lord tells us to pray for those who persecute us. Who in your life needs to be blessed and prayed for? How would you begin? Try Numbers 6:24-26. It is amazing the heart change we will experience. Will you obey?