Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 32 : Forgive Offenders | Day 224

Discern Types of Offenders!

Toward the beginning of Paul's ministry, he had to escape from would-be killers by being let down over the city wall. He ended his ministry by rejecting the appeals of those who warned of his death and going to Rome, where he was beheaded.

During his ministry, he responded to a multitude of opponents in various ways. He debated with the religious leaders in the synagogues, reasoned with the philosophers on Mars Hill, challenged his opponents in the church, and praised God for other critics who were at least preaching the Gospel.

In the same way that wars are won by different strategies, so we must use different responses for those who oppose us.

Jesus laid the foundation for recognizing different types of offenders and responding to them in different ways when He said, “... Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Paul presented a parallel idea when he said, “... Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat” (I Corinthians 4:12-13).

As we obey the command to love our enemies, it is important to recognize three types of enemies and different ways to respond to them, identified by Jesus and Paul.

1. Those who curse and revile us: we bless.

Jesus gave an example of this type of attack when He said, “... If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub [Satan], how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matthew 10:25). He went on to explain why those who revile need to be blessed with repentance for sin and God's mercies upon them for salvation: “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known” (Matthew 10:26). By blessing them we overcome evil with good (see Romans 12:21).

2. Those who hate and persecute us: we endure it and return good for evil.

This reaction of hatred is because of a relationship with the Lord and the work of His kingdom. Jesus stated, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13:13). Just as Jesus did good to those who hated Him and conquered by love, so we are to follow in His steps. In fact, Jesus did this for each of us. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

3. Those who defame and despitefully use us: we entreat and pray for.

When Paul's character was defamed by false accusations, he responded to the challenge by giving his credentials and defending his Godly actions (see II Corinthians 11:22-31). Jesus also responded to those who tried to defame Him by appealing to their consciences with the truth (see John 8:41-47).

In your journal this week, write down the names of individuals whom God has brought to your mind to forgive. Then, as you apply the insights from this command, write out the results, especially how God heals any emotional wounds and replaces them with genuine love for your offenders.

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22).

Daily Success
Like Twitter Pinterest GooglePlus LinkedIn Forward

Online Resources for Command 32 »

Make sure your Daily Success e-mails always go straight to your inbox by adding dailysuccess@iblp.org to your address book.

You are receiving this e-mail because you are enrolled in Daily Success, a ministry of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). E-mail addresses are never sold or given out to third parties. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Copyright © 2005–2013, Institute in Basic Life Principles. All Rights Reserved.
The Institute in Basic Life Principles is located at 707 West Ogden Ave., Hinsdale, IL 60521.
Contributing writer: Bill Gothard