Day 65 The Lock-Down. Bringing Hope to Confined CircumstanceS

Day 65 The Lock-Down. Bringing Hope to Confined CircumstanceS

“Enemy Snapshots.”

Social media has a way of bringing your long-forgotten past into the present. Old photos appearing on Facebook of you (usually in group pictures) causing you to say out loud, “That’s not how I used to look!”? It’s the thought that everybody may frame that image as the total you of yesteryear is what gets you. Judging character by first impressions is an art-form that many claim to have perfected. “I’ve never been wrong, they brag.” The first problem is that it is at best one of those snapshot judgements. Secondly, your judgements are more likely to represent how you feel on the day rather than what is really standing before you. Thirdly, if we were all that good at judging on first impressions then there would be no such things as Nigerian Email Scamsters.

You would think that someone offering you millions, claiming to live in London with atrocious spelling and a bank account in Abuja, might justify cause for caution. Admit it, we are lousy judges. It gets even harder when we venture into the untested. People with obvious cultural, religious and social differences present an immediate challenge. Lazy instinct asks, “How can I form a relationship with this person and not have to adjust my settings?” and “What might this cost me?” Jesus understands our self-perfected prejudices. His solution is: “Love your enemies” (Mt.5:44). Unsurprisingly, people most like us are more likely to mirror us. Thus, the reason we say, “I knew that you were a great person the moment I met you.” Jesus said that to love those who love you puts you in the same camp as dishonest tax collectors and unbelievers (Mt.5:46-47). When you feel that ‘I am not going to like this nasty person’ feeling, Jesus says, “do good to those who hate you” (Lk.6:27). When ungodly behaviour affects you, “pray for those who persecute you” (Mt.5:44). And when your new-found enemy suddenly needs help: “Do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return” (Lk.6:35). Fear not. You will not be left high and dry wondering if anything will come of your efforts to be Christlike in the face of enmity. Jesus assures you: “Your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High;” (Lk.6:35). Remember we were once enemies of God and He showed His mercy: “He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Lk.6:35). That is you and me. So be careful of those Enemy Snapshots!


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