In life, you will run into people that let you down and disappoint you. Sometimes people don’t say the right thing, or do the right thing. Perhaps they have bullied you or treated you unkindly. What do you do in situations like these when people aren’t treating you with the respect and care you feel like you deserve?
God gives us some help in Matthew 5:44.
“Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (NLT)
That kind of sounds like an impossible task. He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. That goes against what most of us want to do. We want to get even when someone treats us wrong. But the Bible says to love our enemies.
How can we do that? It is really hard to love someone who isn’t doing or saying nice things to you. The good news is this: “For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” – Romans 5:5 (NLT)
This verse shows us that God fills our hearts with His love. This is good news. That means that we don’t have to love our enemies on our own. God will give us the love to love our enemies with. God doesn’t ask us to do something that he doesn’t give us the power to do. Loving your enemies can be hard, but God gives us the love to do it with.
So no matter what a mean person has done to you, and no matter how bad someone might have hurt you, you still have the responsibility to respond back to them in love. The good news is that God will help you out by giving you the love to do it with. Its just up to you to believe it and tap into that love that is on the inside of you.
Loving mean people can be hard, but with God’s help you can do it!
Lifehacks are awesome! There is nothing better than finding a smarter or more efficient way to do something. One of the best lifehacks I’ve seen is one where you charge a phone without power using a watermelon. It sounds nuts, but its really impressive! I had no idea that a phone could be charged without power. That is just one of hundreds of examples of great lifehacks. Have you ever thought about the fact that God provides us with some lifehacks in the Bible?
God has come up with some great ways to make our lives easier. So let’s check out four of the lifehacks God offers us in his word.
- Jesus. This is the most amazing lifehack God provides us with. See our sin keeps us from God. If we’ve sinned in anyway we can’t experience heaven or a relationship with God. God did what we were unable to do. He gave us Jesus who paid the price for our sins. Jesus is the ultimate lifehack. If we will believe that Jesus is Gods son and confess him as our Lord the Bible says we can have eternal life. That is great news. Jesus is the ultimate lifehack!
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heartthat God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
- Love. It can be really hard to love someone who hasn’t treated you the right way. If someone has been mean to you the last thing on you mind is showing them love and kindness. However, God has you covered in this area. He’s provided you the love you need to be kind to others. The Bible says in Romans 5:5 God has put his love in our hearts.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5 (NIV)
That means God has given you the love you need to be nice to those who give you a hard time or bully you. God gave you the lifehack of love.
- Tithing. Tithing is giving 10% of your income to your church. It might seem strange to give such a large part of the money you make to your church. However, it’s amazing how much God is able to bless you as you give. God has a way of providing in supernatural ways for you if you put Him first in your giving.
“The Lord All-Powerful says, “Try this test. Bring one-tenth of your things to me. Put them in the treasury. Bring food to my house. Test me! If you do these things, I will surely bless you. Good things will come to you like rain falling from the sky. You will have more than enough of everything.” – Mal 3:10
Tithing is an awesome lifehack. God tells us to give our money to Him not because he wants to take things from us, but because He wants to get more to us. Tithing puts you into partnership with God. If you choose to tithe you’ll be blessed beyond what you can imagine!
- Peace. Most people aren’t living with peace in their lives. They’re stressed out, wondering if they’ll be able to juggle all their priorities. They might be worried if the guy they like will ask them to prom, or if they’ll fail giving their Oral Comm speech. However, if you tap into God’s lifehack of peace, you don’t have to get stressed out like everyone around you. You can keep your cool, knowing that God is on your side. He’s not going to let you down.
If you put your trust in God, He will come through for you. He won’t leave you without hope or without comfort. You can find peace in knowing that the God of the universe is looking out for you!
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27 (NLT)
God has provided some awesome lifehacks in the Bible. Don’t be afraid to tap into those hacks to get help. Doing things God’s way isn’t always what seems easy or makes sense, but if you follow after God He will reward your life richly!
Similar Teen Devotions
Don’t you hate haters? They’re people in your life who will seemingly say or do anything to bash your dreams and goals. Their constant push of negativity can make you want to call it quits and give up. So how do you deal with these haters in life?
- Realize haters will always exist. Unfortunately, there will always be people who will put you down and want to tear down your dreams, goals and ideas. These people will always exist, if you remove one from your life, another one will show up ready to spring into action. Realizing that there are always going to be people who aren’t going to like what you do, will help you deal with them and let what they say not affect you so much.
- Don’t fight haters with hate. You will never come out ahead in the long run if you try to tear down a hater with your words or actions. The best way to fight a hater is to fight them with the love of God. Its awesome because it will throw them completely off track. If you’re nice to them and show them kindness, before too long they’ll no longer be a hater or have bad things to say. In the end, you’ll find that fighting hate with love is the best way.
- Don’t let haters stop your dreams. Haters will always exist and sometimes its easy to let what they say stop your momentum. No matter what haters say, realize that you can’t let them dictate your future. Decide to turn a deaf ear to what they say and move forward towards your dreams and goals.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. – Romans 12:14 (Message)[/quote]
Unfortunately, haters will always exist. There will always be people who don’t like you for some reason, whether valid or not. The best thing you can do to fight haters is to show them God’s love. What do you think would happen if when someone said something mean to you, you showed up to their locker ten minutes later with a Pepsi for them, and wished them good luck on their math final? Do you think that might dispel the bad things they have to say about you? Maybe not right away, but eventually it would really get their attention and sink in.
Similar Devotions for Teens
Mean people can make life really tough. Its especially hard when you’re at school dealing with them day everyday. When I was in middle school, I had to ride the bus to school everyday. Every morning there was a girl who rode the bus that was super mean. She picked on everybody. She’d make mean comments about almost everything somedays it felt like she was out to get everyone. There were days where I couldn’t wait for the bus ride to end so that I could get away from her and get some peace.
Lots of times when we’re dealing with mean people it can be hard to know what to do. You might think the right thing to do would be to do something mean back to them to teach them a lesson.
The Bible has lots to say on the subject of mean people. One powerful verse that deals with meanies is found in Matthew 5:43-44
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer…” (Message)[/quote]
We might feel like the right thing to do is to get even or teach a mean person a lesson. However, the Bible says that we are to treat mean people better than that. It tells us we are to respond to a mean person by praying for them. This can be really hard. Its easier to want to give up on a mean person and avoid them or to hatch a plan to get back at them. The Bible states that we are to do the complete opposite. We are to respond by praying for them. We are to respond by doing all we can to help them.
This isn’t an easy thing to do, but begin praying for those who are mean to others. Start to ask God for ways to share His love with them. God may use you to lead them to Christ. Be open to being used by God and pray for those who are mean to you.
Similar Devotions for Teens
People can be mean. I think back to when I used to ride the bus to school every day. I remember one girl that would just pick on about everyone. She was an older student and she sure was mean. She used to pick on this one girl by pulling on her hair and calling her “shrimp”. It got so bad that she even made this other girl cry. There are some people like this girl that are just plain mean. So the question is with all the mean people that we meet at school, at the mall, or even on the bus, is it really possible to love those who are mean to us?
I think the answer is “yes”. The Bible says in Matthew 5:44 – “But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.” How do we do that? How do we muster up love for people who are mean and don’t treat others with respect? The Bible says in Romans 5:5 that the love of God has been placed into our hearts (NIV). So yes, God tells us to love our enemies which can seem hard, but he gives us the love to do it with.
So, that bully you ride the bus with everyday, or the person that books you in the hall, the people in your life that seem to be too hard to love, you can love them. Why? Because you don’t have to love them with your own love. You love them with the love that God has placed into your heart. So remember that when loving mean people gets hard, you’re not doing it alone. The love of God has been placed in your heart. You’ve got all the love you need to love your enemies.
Pray: God, thank you for placing your love in my heart. I thank you that with that love I can love those who are mean and unloveable. I ask you to help me to love others and know that with your help I can love my enemies.
Listen: Love, Love, Love by sidewalk prophets
Bullying is becoming more and more common these days among teenagers. In fact, one in four kids in the U.S. are bullied on a regular basis according to bullyingstatistics.org. So more likely than not, you or someone you know has felt the effects of bullying.
So what are some things you can do to help combat bullying in your school?
- Pray – it sounds absolutely crazy, but sometimes the best thing to do in these situations is to pray. Pray that God will give you wisdom to know how to deal with the situation. Pray for those who are bullying that God will open their eyes to see what it is they’re doing (Eph 3:17-23)
- Love – this is super crazy. It does work. Walking in love is a great way to combat bullying. If you respond in love, it gives the bully no fuel to the fire. Kill them with kindness, it works.
- Tell – If someone is being abused physically against their will, you are justified in telling a teacher, principal or faculty member at your school.
These are a few suggestions to help with dealing with bullying in your school. Never underestimate the power of praying for those who are bullying others. More than likely, the person bullying is really hurting inside. You might be the person that God could use to help heal them. You may even end up with the opportunity to lead them to Christ!
God tells us in Matthew 5:44 – “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (NLT)
Loving people that are mean or don’t treat you the way you think you should be treated can be really hard at times.
We learned in the last devotion that we can love others because God put the love to do it with in our hearts. But what does loving a mean person look like in everyday life?
- Be kind – this means that no matter how cruel someone is you respond back to them with kind words and actions. You don’t try to get revenge or get even.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes – it’s easy to get mad and get hurt when you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly. However, try putting yourself in that person’s shoes. If you had been through the things that they had been through you might act the same way they did.
- Realize that you hurt people too. Have you ever said something mean and later regretted it? Or maybe you weren’t even trying to be mean but what you said came across in the wrong way. How would you want to be treated in those situations? You’d probably want understanding and forgiveness so extend that to others.
Loving mean people can be a real challenge. It can be hard to do the right thing. Just remember that loving mean people is something you can grow in and develop more. Don’t feel bad if you’re not perfect at it.
Also, realize that God is there to give you ideas and help on how to love mean people. Keep him in the loop and you’ll find that God has your back when it comes to dealing with mean people.