When we look most like Jesus…
“You are never more like Jesus than when you treat people in a way they do not deserve.”
What does blessing look like beyond forgiving? We are given 3 commands for our action of blessing our persecutors. We have to rejoice and mourn with them. It is certainly easy to rejoice with a friend or someone you love when something good happens in their life. In the same way we naturally respond with empathy and sadness when someone we love has been hurt in some way. We don’t rejoice and mourn with those we love because we are called to, rather we rejoice and mourn because we naturally respond in authentic love towards them. However, it’s not so easy when it comes to someone who has caused us pain. That is what Paul is calling us to do here. Rejoice and mourn with those who have hurt us. Imagine how you would feel if someone you hurt came up to you and showed you grace by giving support during a rough time in your life. Wouldn’t that be a blessing in your life?
The third thing to focus on when blessing our persecutors is living in harmony with each other. Chip Ingram brings up a very good point in this chapter. Living in harmony means being of the “same mind”. Not being proud of ourselves or thinking more highly than we ought. We are not perfect and we should not act as if we have superiority. Sometimes we are quick to excuse our faults but forget to do the same for others.
Blessing your persecutors starts with forgiving them with the same grace you have been given, and are shown in your actions of being happy or sad with them, and remembering that no one is better or worse than the other. We are all the same in God’s eyes. When we remember and do those things we will indeed look like Jesus.