“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:43-45)
Just about every worship leader wants to excel at their calling and live out the full potential of their commission to be a blessing to other people. We know that in order to do so, we must become more like our Father in heaven and strive towards caring for God's people in the same manner in which He cares for them. To do so, we must know we are called to offer blessings for everyone. The Scripture above tells us, "your Father in Heaven" gracefully sends sunshine and rain for all man. He does not pick and choose who will get sunshine or who will get rain as a source of provision for their land. God's love, grace, and mercy is always available for all.
There are times when, if it were up to us alone, we would only want to be a blessing to the people we think deserve it. However, Jesus advises us that when we think that way, we are out of sync with the heart and mentality of our Father. In order to operate with the heart that God desires for us to have, Jesus tells us there are four things required for us to do:
1.) Love your enemies: We have a tendency towards storing up hate, animosity, and grudges to our enemies, but Jesus says here we are to love them. Loving someone means sincerely desiring for them to be happy and blessed, which leads us to our next instruction from Jesus.
2.) Bless those who curse you: When a person curses another person (especially in the Old Testament) they are wishing, speaking, and hoping for a bad fortune to overtake that person's life. Jesus tells us to do the opposite of that. He says "bless those who curse you." To bless the people who curse us means to wish, speak, and hope for good things to be their portion.
3.) Then Jesus says Do good to those who hate you: As if the previous two instructions were not difficult enough, Jesus is now telling us that our goodwill should not only be a matter of hoping and wishing someone well. He says that when a person hates us, we are to retaliate by performing good deeds for them.
4.) Lastly, Jesus says for us to Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you: This instruction is also particularly a challenge because it tends to be a hard pill to swallow when people are using us. Nevertheless, Jesus says pray for those people who take advantage of you and persecute you. Jesus Himself prayed, in Luke 23:34, for His persecutors to be forgiven as He was dying on the cross for all mankind.
To follow the commission of our Father in heaven, we must take on His heart for mankind. This is no easy task, as we are wrapped in human flesh and are privy to want to always repay evil with evil. However, just as God allows His sun to shine on everyone and does not select who He will allow it to bless, if we want to be like our Father, we too are to let our light shine on all man so they can see our good works and glorify God.
xo Rocky Dania