Countercultural Love

2 Samuel 1:17–27, Romans 12:9–21, Romans 13:1-10

David had been pursued by the House of Saul for many years. Even after Saul acknowledged that David had been acting more righteous than he, there wasn’t restoration. David was cut off from his friends (like Saul’s son, Jonathan), his first wife, his nation. He was in exile. David had been anointed to be king but was kept from the throne by an unrighteous man.

In the political climate of today, we can easily imagine the celebrations of the other “side” (whichever one that is) celebrating the death of the king and his family. In fact, it seems to have become a tradition for the last few presidents to have people asking and praying for their deaths. David was not like that with Saul.

David could have been angry and arrogant. Instead, he mourned. He wrote a song to mourn the passing of the House of Saul. He insisted others learn it and share it. He was not happy that the throne was his. He was miserable for the loss of the leading family. In the current political climate, do you see that happening for any politician?

When Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, we have to remember that they were lower than the Jews in Roman eyes. Paul still charged them to love. Bless the persecutors? No eye for an eye? Be at peace? With them? Talk about countercultural!

“Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”
—Romans 12:21

While the Roman government was certainly no friend of Christians, Paul still told them to submit. While there is an ongoing distrust of government today (been there since the founding of the country), the odd thing is, in the US the citizens choose their leaders. We are still called to pray for them as much as we may not agree with their decisions.

This also leads back to love. If we view people with whom we disagree as anything other than people for whom Jesus Christ died, we have a problem. When we behave or believe that we cannot be wrong, we have removed God from the throne of our heart and put ourselves back on it. Back to the way our hearts were before we found salvation in and through Jesus Christ.

1) There is a strong human need for an enemy…an other. When have you been tempted (or succumbed) to treat another with whom you disagree as an enemy? What if they are family or framily?

2) We are called to be of one mind with Christ. How does treating a Christian as an enemy make a person of one mind with Christ?

3) One of the greatest tools of the enemy is division. How can you oppose this tool with the heart of Jesus?