Jenna Worsham 

Today’s Scripture: “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments.” Luke 23:34, ESV 

Theme: Jesus shows us how to generously love even the people who hurt us. 


Our children do not understand what meeting their constant needs costs caregivers. Babies do inconsiderate things like interrupt sleep, change marital intimacy for a season, injure the bodies that deliver them, or affect job performance. Babies don’t do those things on purpose. They need care to survive. Without some sacrifice from others, they would not live. Parents freely offer up their own comfort to care for them. It is worth the cost, but any parent will tell you that as much as they love their kids, parenting still hurts. 


As they grow more independent, children try out their own ideas and opinions. The babies I nurtured grow into thinking, talking people. The words our children say can hurt. When they criticize, accuse that we don’t love them, or say that they hate themselves, we feel pain. My children have: slammed my hand in a car door, spilled boiling hot tea in my lap, banged the back of a head into my mouth and caused it to bleed. It hurts! Their mistakes hurt me financially, physically, and emotionally. Yet, we love them generously. We care for their needs, and even above and beyond their needs.  

God treats us as His children. We grieve Him, hurt Him, and some of us even mocked, tortured, and killed His own Son. Our children may hurt us, yet we are called to love them as God loves us. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2, ESV). 


It’s one thing to love dependents who can’t care for themselves, even when they hurt us. It’s another to love adult family members, teenagers, and other people who should know better. What about when someone hurts us deliberately? In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the father gives his greedy son the resources which he demands and which he also promptly wastes. Any father would be hurt. Yet, Jesus reminds us “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, ESV). 

Make It Personal: Is your heart heavy? Who has injured you physically, emotionally, or financially? From the cross, Jesus prayed that His tormentors, torturers, and executioners would be forgiven. Like Him, pray for the people causing you pain. Find a way to love someone who is hurting you, whether intentionally or unintentionally. 

Pray: Father God, I know I have grieved You with my mistakes and caused You pain. I’m so sorry for the terrible things I have done. I know I don’t meet expectations and that I’ll probably make some of those same mistakes again. I am so sorry. Help me to learn to love like Jesus.  Right now, I’m thinking of people who may have injured me this week: they are many. I am still caring for my wounds. Take those wounds, Lord, and use them, heal them, and change them into something new. Help me to love my tormentors. Help me to love my enemies. Help me to love those who inconvenience me. Help me to love those who trip me up or laugh at me. Give me the strength and the confidence to do this more often this week than I did last week. You are faithful. You won’t leave me suffering forever. I trust You to rescue me as I depend on You and follow Your leading. Amen. 

Read: Matthew 5:43-45; Ephesians 5:1-2; Luke 23:32-38 

Weekly Memory Verse: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:44-45a, NIV