Saint Patrick: An Example of Loving Your Enemies
“But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.” – Matthew 5:44 (CEV)
“Love your enemies.” You may have heard this before and dismissed it. It’s not natural, it’s not easy, it’s not fun.
This Saint Patrick’s Day most will celebrate by dressing up in green with lots of shamrocks, and drinking dyed beer. Amid the celebrations few will remember the true story of the Saint. A man who knew what it meant to love those who had mistreated him.
When Patrick was a young man growing up in Britain he and several companions were captured and forced into slavery across the channel in Ireland. He went from a life of ease to one of extreme hardship and brutality. He eventually escaped, was reunited with his family, and then joined the priesthood.
He returned to Ireland with a mission to share the good news of my salvation with the pagan cults there.
He was ridiculed, abused, and his followers brutalized. The local druid priests resisted his message, but he persisted. He loved his enemies, forgave his captors, and blessed those who persecuted him. He took my message of radical love and shared it with all those he could.
When I call you to love your enemies, it’s not a suggestion or recommendation, it’s an instruction. My plan is that my followers will display my love. I know you will find it difficult, ask me for help. Ask me to fill your life with so much love that it will overflow your heart until you are able to love your enemies and pray for those who mistreat you.
And remember, I love you, always. Even if you fail to love your enemies, my love will never fail.
Catalyst for Spiritual Growth:
2 – Read Luke 9:23-24
3 – Think about it: Why do you find it so hard to love your enemies? What is your natural reaction when someone mistreats you? How is this different from how God asks you to respond?