It’s really easy to get lost in politics. How often do we demonize people of the opposing party? Democrats want to kill babies. Republicans want to kill the poor. The Americans on the other side of the aisle aren’t really even our enemies — that would be Iran, North Korea, Voldemort, and George Lucas.
Okay, now read this verse…
Matthew 5:44-45 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
We can’t even be cordial to people of the opposing party, much less show love to them. That’s how removed from Christ’s love we are. How are we as the body of Christ supposed to show love to the world when we can’t even show love to people who disagree with us politically?
And you know what? You might even think that our government oppresses us. Then great, this verse says, “and pray for those who persecute you.” The verse goes on to say, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”
So if we love those who love us, we’re only as good as tax collectors, the IRS. And I heard that part of the requirement to become an IRS agent is to strangle a kitten. Not an ugly kitten, but a cute kitten.
So what do we do?
First think of the people that antagonize you, or even just annoy you…
Ex-husbands/wives, ex-boy/girlfriends, ex-friends, opposing political members, family, boss, your teachers, classmates.
Now see them, not from your perspective, but from Christ’s…
…and see if you can at least pray for them.
Does that person have faults, sins and problems? Yes. Does Christ want them to find the answer in Him? Yes. Does Christ love them? Yes. Does Christ want someone praying for them? Yes.
They are a sinner too. And Christ wants them to sin less and glorify him more. Christ doesn’t want just people who are perfect, he wants sinners as well.
And lest we forget, we are sinners too. And praying for other sinners, changes us… it changes our heart.
Through this, our hearts become more like Christ’s.
Then maybe when our hearts are right with Christ, we can see them as Christ does, and we can move past praying for them and truly start to show them the love of Christ.
Matthew 5:43-48 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit to work on: Love.
Take time to pray: List two politicians, a family member and someone at school or work, or an ex that you can’t stand. Now pray for them in a loving way. Ask God to help change your heart.