Love your enemies. Love those who you disagree strongly with. Love those who hate you. Love those who hurt you. Love those who ignore you. Love those who discount you. Love those who see you as worthless, or worth less. Love those who are hard to love.
Pray for those who treat you badly. Pray for those who speak ill of you. Pray for those who demonise you. Pray for those who take from you without giving. Pray for those who couldn’t care less about you. Pray for those who it is difficult to pray for.
Don’t return pain with pain, insult with insult, violence with violence, hate with hate, ignorance with ignorance. Return all these things with love, patience and grace.
It’s easy for us to love our friends and family, anybody can do that, but it’s Christ-like to love and pray for those who we see as the enemy.
So, love and pray for the political opponent, the racist, the sexist, the homophobe, the islamophobe, the anti-semite, the extremist, the newspaper columnist, the paedophile, the burglar, the murderer, the internet troll, the bitter ex, the greedy, the selfish, the malicious gossip or the control freak.
Do it without expecting any thanks or reward from them for it.
Do it because your reward comes from God.
Do it because it’s right.
Do it because you know, deep down, that you need someone to do it for you, despite all your failings.
Do it to show love and mercy in the way your Father shows love and mercy for you.