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“When you learn to sit at the table with Judas, you’ll learn the love of Christ.”
Wow. That’s a powerful statement. Think about it for a minute. Can you sit down with your enemies? Christ did literally sit at table with a man who hated him so much, he had him killed AND Christ knew it was going to happen. Think about all the things Jesus did with the disciples, with Judas, knowing full well this was the man that was going to betray him in the end. Can you even imagine that?
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).
Keep in mind, Judas was one of the disciples. He was there for the healings, the miracles, all the things. Judas was in the club, he was hanging out with the boss and all of the big dogs. And, the whole time he was doing that-doing ministry, Jesus knew he was going to betray him.
Isn’t betrayal the hardest? A friend “outing” you for something you did or didn’t do, someone turning their back on you, someone saying the worst things about you, someone publicly humiliating you after you trusted them so much. Betrayal creates one of the deepest wounds not only is it hard to forgive, it is equally hard to recover.
As Christians, we seem somewhat programed to think everyone has to like us. I’m not sure where that comes from since it’s obvious in the Bible, not everyone liked Jesus. But, there’s something about us, we want everyone to like us and worse, we don’t know what to do when they don’t.
Read what Steven Furtick said above, “The bigger your destiny, the bigger your enemies.” That is powerful and very true. Has God called you to do something great? Get ready, you’re about to have a few enemies.
Social media thinks they have a term for that, #haters. We all have #haters whether we want to admit it or not, we have people who are jealous of our lives or annoyed with our personalities or whatever it might be. But, when it comes to having a Judas, not everyone has that. A Judas would be the ultimate betrayal, someone you trusted, someone you were close to, someone who knew you on a different level than anyone else and then, that someone, betrays you in the worst way. In the case of Christ, Judas turned Jesus over the authorities and he was crucified. I would say that’s a pretty bad betrayal.
So, let’s go back to the quote…
I have wrestled with the whole “love your enemies” thing for years. Why? Because I have a few real enemies. I have the kind that don’t want you to succeed, that laugh when you fail and point out all of your faults. I have the kind that make this verse above sting when you read it. But, Christ showed us it is possible to not only love our enemies but bless them as well.
Let me start by telling you first, it is not an overnight process and second, we are not talking about people who have committed real crimes against you or your family or someone who will put your life in danger here so please do not go that route. We are simply talking about people who have broken your heart. So, where does it all start? It starts with forgiveness.
If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to read this post, Forgiving Someone Who is #SorryNotSorry. That will give you a bit of an idea as to how to forgive someone who has seriously hurt you or betrayed you. Once you’ve walked through the forgiveness process, you’ll notice God is working on your heart to get to the loving process. That’s where you can love someone with the love of Christ, sincerely hope God works on their hearts and pray for them authentically.
Can you sit down with them? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t think we are required to sit down with them as Jesus did us, keep in mind, Jesus knew the bigger picture. However, I do think we are required to be able to see them and not have bitterness rise up inside of us or the sting of pain all over again and those two things only go away with true forgiveness. It doesn’t mean you trust that person again necessarily as much as it means you can pray for them and have genuine compassion for them in Christ.
Think about this today, who is your Judas? What happens when that person’s name is mentioned or you accidentally run into them at Target? If it’s painful, go back to forgiveness again and camp out there for awhile, it’s ok-it takes time. After that, start to think of the bigger picture. Maybe the way this person understands the forgiveness of Christ is through your example? You never know.
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Sarah Ann is an author, speaker and media personality committed to honesty, vulnerability and authenticity. She has a passion for empowering people who are willing to be honest and walk out life in Christ together. Sarah holds a Bachelors in Biblical Studies and a Masters in Theology and Apologetics, she also owns a clothing company, Ascent516.com and is the creator of SarahAnnSpeaks.com and the Sarah Ann Speaks Podcast. Sarah is featured daily on GEB TV.