2 THESSALONIANS 3:15
“Yet do not regard him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother.”
I am sure you were reminded of Jesus’ admonition to us to love our enemies when you read this verse. It’s the first thing that popped into my head. In the previous verse Paul is telling the Thessalonians to disassociate with a brother who refuses to obey and follow. But here Paul is clarifying that verse. He wants to make sure they know they are to continue to love them. They just need to confront and hold him accountable.
We tend to just “write people off” when they have angered us. Remember, Paul is talking about brothers in Christ, not the unsaved. I have heard it said too many times that the church is the only army that shoots its own wounded. How sad! We need to lovingly chastise those in sin but never treat them as an enemy to us or the Gospel.
I hate to tell you, but your children are probably going to have some enemies. It’s really sad to think about that, but it will happen. As a parent, you need to make sure your children understand they are to love everyone as Christ does. But if someone chooses to make your child their enemy, they are to continue to love and pray for them.
And they are to especially love and pray for those who are of the faith. You have to model this so openly for your kids. They should never hear us badmouthing another believer. They should never hear us talking badly about a Pastor. We may not agree with everyone (as if that was even possible), but we should treat everyone as if Jesus was right there with us. Oh wait, He is.
Have you treated a fellow believer poorly? Have you broken off fellowship to make a point? You do not have the right to act that way. Jesus has paid the price for you and whomever you are at odds with. His death covered every sin on both sides of the argument. Will you today allow Him to love even the most unloving person in your life? He can and He will through you.
Father, You have promised to love through me. I know I can’t love those who hate me, but You can. Help me surrender to Your will and love as only You can love.