Devotional for 03/13/2014
"But I say unto you, 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
When I was a teenager, power steering was starting to be available in the larger, more expensive automobiles. In some cases, the early power steering had one big problem: It was too powerful! Because it offered almost no resistance when turning the steering wheel, it was easy for the driver to oversteer.
An illustration of this is etched in my mind. While it is funny now, there was nothing funny about it at the time. I had caught a ride with someone who was new to power steering. And as we sped along the country road, sometimes with two wheels on the gravel shoulder and other times with part of the car over the centerline, the driver loudly criticized power steering. At one point during the drive he ridiculed me as he saw me my terror, but I was relieved to have a safe arrival at our destination.
Automotive engineers soon corrected this problem with power steering. They instituted a modest but real resistance to turning the wheel, which made for much better control. With modern power steering, the driver must first exert an effort before the automatic feature kicks in. Because of this required effort, a person can almost forget that a car has power steering—until for some reason the engine dies while the vehicle is in motion. If this happens, the absence of power steering becomes quickly obvious.
In the spiritual realm, some people assume that becoming a Christian is similar to the first power steering—that little or no effort is required on their part. They are surprised when they realize that they must put forth significant effort to live righteously before God.
The key verse is an example of this. If someone at school or work spreads lies about you, the devil may tempt you to dislike this person or try to get even. You can resist this temptation by praying diligently that the Lord will help you have a Christian attitude in this matter, and that He will bless the offender by ultimately drawing him to salvation. If you keep on praying until you really mean it, the principal of “power steering” will work in your life. God will help you to do what you could never have done in your own strength—but only after you have done what you are able to do. The Christian life is full of these challenges and resulting victories.